2017 Remember the Removal riders stand in front of Blythe
Ferry, Tennessee, along the northern route of the Trail of
Tears. The site, which is marked with a National Park Service
historical marker, was the last piece of homeland Cherokees
stood before being removed to Oklahoma.
TAHLEQUAH, OK The 2017 Remember the Removal Bike Ride
is among 21 national parks selected to receive a 2017 Active Trails
grant from the National Park Foundation.
The $25,000 grant will help cover costs of the tribe's annual
bicycle ride, which includes 13 Cherokee Nation cyclists riding
1,000 miles across seven states, retracing the northern route of
the Trail of Tears that their ancestors were forced to make on foot
more than 175 years ago.
As part of the grant, Remember the Removal cyclists will stop
at the following sites along the ride, which started June 4 and
ends June 22, to share the history of the program and educate the
public about the forced removal of the Cherokee Nation, known as
the Trail of Tears.
- Wyman Elementary School in Rolla, Missouri, on June 15.
- Pea Ridge National Military Park, 15930 E Hwy 62, Garfield,
Arkansas, on June 20.
The cyclists also stopped in Charleston, Tennessee, on June
5 to promote the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail.
The Trail of Tears route is considered a National Historic Trail
by the National Park Service. It passes through nine states and
commemorates the survival of the Cherokee people, forcefully removed
from their homelands in the Southeast to live in Indian Territory.
Cherokees were forced to relocate by foot, horse, wagon or steamboat
"Cherokee Nation is grateful for the opportunity to partner
with the National Park Foundation to bring heightened awareness
to the Remember the Removal Bike Ride. Our annual event pays homage
to the darkest chapter in the tribe's history and enables our young
Cherokees to always remember where they came from and the strength
of their ancestors," said Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. "Because
the Trail of Tears routes are preserved and well-marked, the public
can see the historic places firsthand and retrace the journey through
several national parks across multiple states."
Now entering its ninth successful year, the multifaceted Active
Trails program enriches national parks; strengthens relationships
between parks, community members and organizations; and supports
individual growth and well-being.
"National parks offer great spaces to build community. Whether
it is admiring a dark night sky, walking in the footsteps of your
ancestors, or taking part in a fun outdoor challenge, our Active
Trails grants make it possible for people from all backgrounds to
engage in activities that bring us together in national parks,"
said Susan Newton, senior vice president of grants & programs
at the National Park Foundation.
Since 2008, the National Park Foundation has granted nearly
$3.8 million through its Active Trails program.
"As the National Park Service enters its second century of service,
connecting more people to parks, trails and heritage areas builds
on the success of our centennial and prepares us for the 50th anniversary
of the National Trails System in 2018," said Rita Hennessy, the
National Park Service National Trails System program manager. "These
grants will encourage new generations of visitors to build their
own connections to America's remarkable places, where they can be
active and inspired."
Follow the Remember the Removal Bike Ride Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/removal.ride/.
The entire list of the 2017 Active Trails recipients can be
found at https://www.nationalparks.org/our-work/programs/active-trails.