National Trails Day is June 2, 2018. This toolkit is available for planning for this event. You can make your NTD event double as a Park Champion event by inviting your members of Congress to join in on the celebration! American Hiking Society has partnered with NRPA to make it easy to invite your federal elected officials to your NTD Day event. Use this interactive toolkit to get started. If you have any questions or need assistance, reach out to Jayni Rasmussen anytime at jrasmussen@nrpa.org or 440.522.9162.

  • Open or CloseStep 1: Register to be Counted for National Trails Day

    Thank you for supporting National Trails Day by registering your trails event here at Americanhiking.org. It's free and easy to register! Continue with this toolkit to make your National Trails Day event double as a Park Champion event by inviting your members of Congress to join in on the celebration.

  • Open or CloseStep 2: Find Your Members of Congress

    First, find out who your members of Congress are by entering your zip code using the zip code tool above.

  • Open or CloseStep 3: Invite Your Members of Congress

    After finding your elected officials using the zip code tool at the top of this page, download this draft invitation. Personalize the invitation for each of your members of Congress, then copy and paste the text into the body of an email.

    Send each invitation to your members of Congress’ respective office schedulers. Click here to access a spreadsheet of names and email addresses of Congressional schedulers.

    Tip: If you don’t receive a response to your invitation after a few days, follow up. Congressional staffers appreciate the reminder.

  • Open or CloseStep 4: Prepare For The Visit

    Confirm with the office scheduler that the member of Congress is able to attend. If they’re not available, invite a member of their in-district staff to attend instead.

    After you’ve confirmed attendance, prepare the following items and share them with the office scheduler:

    o Develop a detailed event agenda that confirms how much time you will have with the member of Congress and staff
    o Prepare activities for the member of Congress and/or their staff to participate in the event
    o Identify other participants and speakers for the event, including state and local officials
    o Confirm that it is okay to engage local media regarding their visit (see Step 5)

    Additional items to prepare for the event:

    o Arrange for staff to take photos at the event or consider hiring a photographer
    o Prepare informational materials on how your agency benefits from federal parks and recreation policy to share with the staff of attending members of Congress.

    Tip: NRPA has fact sheets for each issue on our policy platform that you can print out and share.

  • Open or CloseStep 5: Rally the Media


    o Confirm with the office scheduler that it is okay to engage local media.
    o Coordinate on media outreach with the press staff of all attending officials.
    o Use the American Hiking Society’s Press Kit to send press release to local media outlets.

  • Open or CloseStep 6: During the Event


    o Welcome and introduce the member of Congress or their staff
    o Pay close attention to time and stay on schedule
    o Encourage the member of Congress to participate in your NTD Day event activities
    o Using these talking points, share how federal parks and recreation policy benefits your community
    o Capture quotes and comments made by the member of Congress

    Throughout the event, don’t forget to create good photo opportunities. Take plenty of photos and videos then, share them on social media (Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram) using the hashtags #NationalTrailsDay and #ParkChampion.

    Here is a draft social media post you can use to get started:

    Thanks to [@ReprX or @SenX] for celebrating #NationalTrailsDay with us! We appreciate your support of rec trails! #ParkChampion

    For more sample posts, see the American Hiking Society’s National Trails Day Promotional Toolkit.

    Using these talking points, 

  • Open or CloseStep 7: Follow Up!

    o Send thank you notes via email to all attending officials and staff.
    o Keep up with staff you met during the event, and don’t forget to invite your members of Congress to future events! 

Report Back

Tell us about how you made your National Trails Day event a Park Champion event! Send photos and takeaways using the form below:

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