Maryland Trails Clearinghouse & Directory
Training and Education
The Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program is the community assistance arm of the National Park Service. RTCA supports community-led natural resource conservation and outdoor recreation projects. RTCA works in urban, rural, and suburban communities with the goal of helping communities achieve on-the-ground conservation successes for their projects. The program's focus is on helping communities help themselves by providing expertise and experience from around the nation. From urban promenades to trails along abandoned railroad rights-of-way to wildlife corridors, our assistance in greenway efforts is wide ranging. Similarly, our assistance in river conservation spans downtown riverfronts to regional water trails to stream restoration.
The National Park Service Rivers, Trail, and Conservation Assistance (RTCA) program and the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) formalized a partnership in 2000 to help communities across the nation plan, design, and manage their natural, cultural, and recreation resources. This national partnership provides collaborative technical assistance to selected RTCA projects and is implemented locally by RTCA staff and ASLA's state chapters. Members of ASLA volunteer their skills and time as part of the organization's community stewardship programs. The service projects offer landscape architects an opportunity to raise public awareness about their profession, and in turn enables RTCA to sponsor professional design expertise that is unavailable or unaffordable to many community-based recreation and conservation efforts. The communities invariably find the combined NPS-ASLA resources are a tremendous catalyst for their projects.