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 2008, the AVTA has taken
title to a total of 55 miles of abandoned railway and has completed the construction
of two trails, the 30 mile Allegheny River Trail and the 12 mile Sandy Creek Trail.
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
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