Steve Elkinton

Trail: National Trails System
Award: American Trails Lifetime Service Award
Award date: 2013

In 1989, Steve Elkinton was selected as the program leader for the National Trails System in the National Park Service’s Washington headquarters office. Steve brought to the position a background in landscape architecture, creativity, energy, enthusiasm, and an admiration for volunteers and the valuable benefits and passion they bring to the stewardship of the system. For half of the history of the National Trails System, he has provided leadership and worked tirelessly to further the intentions and spirit of the National Trails System Act.

Steve has helped lead and guide the development of the National Trails system during his remarkable twenty-three years as program leader. Just a few of his contributions to trails are listed below:

• Helped to grow the national system.
• Built interagency collaboration and coordination.
• Expanded and fostered partnerships and citizen stewardship.
• Increased communication and the sharing of best practices.
• Provided mentoring and historic knowledge.
• Promoted and advocated for trails.
• Increased awareness and appreciation of trails.