October 2, 2008

Outdoor Enthusiasts Look to October to Save America’s Trails

Nature Valley(R) and American Hiking Society are pleased to announce 20 nonprofit organizations around the country have been named finalists for Save the Trails(TM) funding. Save the Trails, in cooperation with the American Hiking Society National Trails Fund, will award $5,000 to each of the top 10 finalists, based on online votes, to restore and revitalize hiking trails in their communities. Voting is open to the public now through Oct. 31, 2008, at www.wheresyours.com.

"Hiking trails are gateways to nature's greatest experiences, but they need regular maintenance to ensure their longevity and safety," said Gregory A. Miller, American Hiking Society president. "The National Trails Fund is dedicated to preserving America's hiking trails. Nature Valley's generous donation has doubled the size of this year's fund, which is benefiting the degree of our impact on hiking trails in local communities. Soon, 10 more organizations will be able to preserve their hiking trails for everyone to enjoy."

The 20 finalists were selected from a competitive pool of 160 organizations that span the nation. The finalists' entries may be viewed - and votes may be cast - at www.wheresyours.com. Finalists, and their trail projects, include:

-- Forest Park Conservancy (Portland, Ore.): Wildwood Trail Day of Stewardship

-- Friends of the Inyo (Bishop, Calif.): Mt. Whitney Trail

-- Grand Trunk Trail Blazers (Sturbridge, Mass.): Camp Robinson Crusoe Trail

-- Hawaii Nature Center (Honolulu): Lo'I Loop Trail

-- Louisville Metro Parks Foundation (Louisville, Ky.): Eastern Gateway Trail

-- Lula Lake Land Trust (Lookout Mountain, Ga.): Cloudland Connector Trail

-- Mahanoy Creek Watershed Association (Pottsville, Pa.): Bolich Hiking Trail Project

-- Nacimiento Medical Foundation (Cuba, N.M.): St. Francis Park Nature Trail

-- North Country Trail Association (Ohio): North Country National Scenic Trail

-- North Country Trail Association (Wisconsin): Nemadji River Trail Construction

-- Palmetto Conservation Foundation (Columbia, S.C.): Peak to Prosperity Passage, Palmetto Trail

-- Public Access Trails Hawaii, "PATH" (Hawaii): South Maui Corridor

-- Ramona Trails Association (Ramona, Calif.): Park to Forest Trail Corridor

-- Rocky Mountain Nature Association (Estes Park, Colo.): Alberta Falls to Haiyaha Connector Trail

-- Southern Appalachian Forest Coalition (Asheville, N.C.): Fires Creek Trail System

-- Southern Conservation Trust (Peachtree City, Ga.): Line Creek Nature Area Trail Signage

-- The Colorado Mountain Club (Telluride, Colo.): South Colony Trail

-- Concerned Resources & Environmental Workers, "CREW" (Ojai, Calif.): Sespe & Red Reef Trails

-- The Delaware and Hudson Canal and Gravity Railroad Conservancy (Westtown, N.Y.): D&H Canal Corridor Trail

-- Volunteers for Outdoor California (Redwood City, Calif.): Fernandez Ranch Trail Project

Nature Valley launched the Save the Trails grant program in June 2008 and contributed $50,000 to double the size of American Hiking Society's National Trails Fund. Save the Trails funding recipients will be announced in April 2009; all funds are to be used toward trail restoration during summer 2009.

"We're grateful to be working with American Hiking Society and excited to see how the National Trails Fund is piquing interest in our country's local hiking trails," said Martin Abrams, Nature Valley marketing. "Nature Valley is committed to helping make hiking trails enjoyable and accessible while protecting and preserving nature; we hope everyone will support their favorite trail at www.wheresyours.com."

Since its inception in 1998, the National Trails Fund has granted nearly $340,000 to 89 different trail projects across the United States. Community preservation efforts include land acquisition, constituency building campaigns and a variety of trail work projects.

With more than 200,000 miles of trails in the United States, the National Trails Fund is the only national private grants program that helps trail-maintaining organizations build and improve hiking trails and galvanize volunteers to ensure long-term trail sustainability.

Save the Trails(TM)

National park trails need continual upkeep and preservation because of high occupancy and various environmental elements, such as fire, erosion and catastrophic storms, which deteriorate the landscape. Nature Valley has also funded the Save the Trails program with the Student Conservation Association for four consecutive years, committing a total of $400,000 to trail restoration this year. For more information about Save the Trails, visit www.naturevalley.com.

*Nature Valley(R) is a registered trademark of General Mills, Inc.

About American Hiking Society

Founded in 1976, American Hiking Society is the only national, recreation-based nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting and protecting America's hiking trails, their surrounding natural areas and the hiking experience. To learn more about American Hiking Society and its mission and programs, visit www.AmericanHiking.org or call (301) 565-6704.

About Nature Valley(R)

Nature Valley(R) created the granola bar category in 1975 and brings great taste to active consumers looking for wholesome snacks. Nature Valley consists of five great-tasting granola bar lines: Crunchy Granola Bars, Chewy Trail Mix Bars, Yogurt Granola Bars, Sweet & Salty Nut Granola Bars and Roasted Nut Crunch Bars. Nature Valley is also the Official Natural Energy Bar of the PGA TOUR, the United States Ski and Snowboarding Association, Nature Valley NASTAR, Association of Volleyball Professionals, Cross Country Ski Areas Association, Vail Resorts, Aspen Resorts, Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday and the Warren Miller Film Tour. In addition, Nature Valley is a sponsor of the Student Conservation Association and the Nature Valley Grand Prix.