Allegheny Valley Trails Associations: Recreation Trails of the Allegheny National Recreation River Oil Heritage Region of Pennsylvania
 
AVTA and The Great American Cleanup. Saturday April 26.

What is AVTA?
The Allegheny Valley Trails Association is an all volunteer, non-profit organization which was founded in 1990. The AVTA's mission is the acquisition of abandoned railways in the Allegheny River watershed and their rehabilitation into multipurpose, non-motorized recreational trails. Over the past decade the organization has had a good measure of success in fulfilling that mission. As of the spring of 2005, the AVTA has taken title to a total of 55 miles of abandoned railway and has completed the construction of two trails, the 20 mile Allegheny River Trail and the 8 mile Sandy Creek Trail. Additional trails are scheduled for construction in the near future.
Rockland Tunnel by Jerry Sowden
Photo by Jerry Sowden

How is the AVTA organized?
The activities of the AVTA are guided by a board consisting of 12 to 21 volunteers who are responsible for short and long term planning, grant writing, fund raising, acquisition of railways, and enhancement and maintenance of existing trails. These board members work closely with local, state, and federal government agencies to help achieve their goals.

The AVTA's foundation is its members who join by paying annual dues. Members of the AVTA are kept abreast of the activities of the organization. They receive minutes of bimonthly board meetings and a yearly newsletter. Members have the opportunity to attend an annual members meeting and can participate in the affairs of the organization.

How is the AVTA funded?
Funding for railways acquisition, engineering, and major trail construction comes primarily from federal, state, and local grants. Funds for maintaining and enhancing the trail system need to come directly from our local community. Business leaders and professionals help support the activities of the AVTA through a sponsorship program. A large percentage of the money needed to keep the trails in good shape and the organization moving forward is contributed by AVTA members through their annual membership dues.