Pathways to Healthy Living

National Park Service

The National Park Service Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance (RTCA) program supports community-led natural resource conservation and outdoor recreation projects across the nation. Its national network of conservation and recreation planning professionals partners with community groups, nonprofits, tribes, and state and local governments to design trails and parks, conserve and improve access to rivers, protect special places, and create recreation opportunities.


  • Helped build the capacity of RTCA community planners to engage in active living policy, partnerships, and environmental change work.
  • Assisted RTCA with a training for the RTCA Pathways to Healthy Living, a nationwide initiative to encourage outdoor physical activity in national parks and local communities, to demonstrate practical approaches for public land managers and community leaders who want to encourage active lifestyles.
  • Consulted with RTCA staff on strengthening existing community partnership projects and strategies for engaging the health community in new partnerships focused on expanding and promoting trails and greenways.

Funding Partner: National Park Service

Engagement: 2006–2007

Services Provided:

  • Training
  • Coaching, consultation, and technical assistance
  • Communications support and message development
“Active Living By Design [now Healthy Places by Design] helped RTCA staff incorporate walkability and complete streets models into our community projects and helped us realize we needed to better engage health practitioners. I've also promoted the [Community Action] Model with many of my community trails and greenway projects.”

Attila Bality, Outdoor Recreation Planner National Park Service, Rivers, Trails & Conservation Assistance Program New Mexico Field Office