Gary Werner receives Outstanding Trail Leaders award

by American Trails
Adapted from a May 2019 Advancing Trails Award news release

Above from left: Gary Werner, PNTS Executive Director, accepts the Wisconsin Outstanding Trail Leaders award from Roger Bell, past American Trails Board Chair and Vice-Chair. Photo Credit: American Trails

Gary Werner, Executive Director of the Partnership for the National Trails System, was awarded by American Trails during the 24th International Trails Symposium and Training Institute, held April 28-May 1, 2019, in Syracuse, NY. Werner received the Outstanding Trail Leaders State Award for his longtime trail work in Wisconsin. 

The State Awards recognize individuals who have made compelling and significant contributions to the trails movement in their home States. Any area of trail excellence or achievement—advocating, designing, building, using, maintaining, promoting, decorating, adapting technologies for trail use, etc.—could be grounds for receiving this honor.

A resident of Madison, WI, Werner worked for 12 years for the Ice Age Park and Trail Foundation (now known as the Ice Age Trail Alliance) organizing volunteers, coordinating trail planning and construction projects with the National Park Service and Wisconsin Departments of Natural Resources and Transportation, and negotiating right of way purchases with landowners.

Werner has served since 1991 as Chair, and now as Executive Director, of PNTS, a nonprofit organization that supports the 30 national scenic and historic trails. Werner represents PNTS in working with Federal agency staff and other nonprofit organizations to develop national trails policy initiatives and secure adequate funding, administrative support, and authorities for the National Trails System. 

Over the past 28 years Gary has organized and led volunteers in a variety of trail construction and maintenance and natural resource preservation projects for the Sierra Club, The Nature Conservancy, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, American Hiking Society, and the Ice Age Trail Alliance.

The Advancing Trails Awards Program is one way American Trails recognizes the tremendous contributions and successes of exemplary people across the globe who are working to advance trails. These awards are presented every two years during the International Trails Symposium and Training Institute.

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