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The Medical Center of the Americas Foundation (MCA) received a notification from the National Park Service informing that the project application to the Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance (RTCA) program has been approved for the 2020 federal fiscal year. These funds will help further our vision by implementing a 1.5-mile trail segment along the Franklin canal, providing connectors to nearby destinations.


This accomplishment wouldn't be possible without the collaboration between the MCA, the El Paso County Water Improvement District #1, City of El Paso, the El Paso Independent School District, and the Neighborhood Associations.


The assistance to be provided by the RTCA will include:

  • Help the Foundation develop a broad based partnership interested in assisting and supporting our trail planning efforts

  • Develop civic engagement strategies so everyone in and around the MCA campus has opportunities to engage in discussions for planning, managing and caring for the new trail corridor.

  • Incorporate the Parks, Trails & Health Workbook approach into our planning, including establishing baseline metrics to measure success

  • Identify funding sources to implement the concept plan.

UPDATES and next steps

  • The design team met with the new principal of Jefferson Silva to discuss safe design and access to the trail and nearby schools.

  • The design team met with Dr. Leah Whigham from Texas Tech and others to discuss the Preliminary Engineering Survey

  • Project committees were established to support different roles in this process. Committees include the Site Visit Committee, Engagement Committee, and the Communications Committee

  • The Site Visit Committee will organize a walkability audit once El Paso County Water Improvement District #1 (EPCWID1) has the proposed measurements

  • These committees will be active on this project for about 12 months.

  • Veterans Affairs (the VA) started accepting their first patients on January 23 and will be in full gear in three weeks. The next steps include researching how many people walk there regularly. This information will be very helpful for ensuring these community members have safe routes to their healthcare facilities.

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