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Grant awarded for Old Military Road Trail on San Juan Island

Formal planning will soon be underway on a long-distance San Juan Island trail thanks to a recently awarded grant from the National Park Service’s Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program (RTCA).

The island-based Old Military Road Trail committee is one of 40 recipients nationwide of the grant, which provides technical assistance for community-led recreation projects. The committee was formed last May to explore the creation of a multi-use, non-motorized trail commemorating the historic Old Military Road that once connected English and American Camps during joint during the joint military occupation of the island.

“This is an exciting opportunity to meld the trail planning expertise of the National Park Service and local trail building skills to recreate a historic trail that will provide a tremendous recreational opportunity for San Juan Islanders,” said Mike Vouri, committee member, author, historian, and retired NPS ranger. “The trail can be a community builder now, much as it was when it was created first as an island-spanning sheep run, and then as a military trail that established communication between the two camps. It will bring people together and stand as a lasting symbol of peaceful resolution of conflict.”

The RTCA supports community-led natural resource conservation and outdoor recreation projects across the nation by providing a broad range of services and skills in assisting community groups, nonprofit organizations and local government agencies to realize outdoor recreation goals.

When completed, the Old Military Road Trail will provide a multi-use trail that connects American and English camps, units of the San Juan Island National Historical Park. Separated from motorized vehicles, the trail will offer a safe and scenic corridor for a variety of recreational users. For more information visit the Old Military Road Trail committee at oldmilitaryroadtrail.org.

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