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VA Trail Champion Receives RTC Award

David Brickley Honored by Rails to Trails Conservancy

The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC) commemorated its 25th anniversary by recognizing individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to the rail-trail movement during the past quarter century.

Among the honorees of the inaugural Doppelt Family Rail-Trail Champions Award was longtime Virginia trail advocate David Brickley, who as both a legislator and leader in conservation and recreation planning has made an enormous contribution to the trails movement in Virginia and surrounding states.

Brickley is president of the September 11th National Memorial Trail Alliance, which is promoting the development of a 1,130-mile trail and greenway connecting the three memorial sites of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States: the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, Pa., the Pentagon Memorial and New York City’s National September 11 Memorial.

Under Brickley’s leadership as the director of the Virginia Department of Conservation and Rec­reation from 1998 to 2002, Virginia was awarded the national gold medal award for the “Best Managed State Park System in America.”

Brickley previously was an elected member of the Virginia House of Delegates from 1976 through 1998, and the legislative sponsor, co-founder and chairman of the Virginia Railway Express, Virginia’s commuter rail system. He also served as an officer and trustee of the East Coast Greenway Alliance, and as the Virginia State Committee Chair.

“The rail-trail movement has been extremely fortunate to have many senior elected officials and parks staff as strong supporters of our mission,” says RTC President Keith Laughlin. “David Brickley heads that list. His work on behalf of trails and greenways in Virginia during the past 30 years is a tremendous gift to his state and visitors from across the country.”

Additionally, Brickley personally purchased a 16-mile out-of-service railroad corridor in King George County, Va., to protect it from being lost to development. As president of the Dahlgren Rail­road Heritage Trail Alliance, his goal is to work with other volunteers to make this rail-trail project a part of the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail.

Congratulations.  And thanks for all your hard work, David!

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  • David Brickley’s award is very well deserved. Another Virginian, Peter Harnik of Arlington, was also honored for co-founding the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy 25 years ago and for helping to spearhead the national rails-to-trails movement over the following decade.

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