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2001 Environmental Excellence Awards

Excellence in Nonmotorized Transportation

photo: aerial view of portion of trail and observation tower showing ocean. beach, and forest

Puerto Rico Department of Transportation and Public Works Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources

The Piñones trail is a multi-purpose facility, which integrates ecological significance along with breathtaking scenic beauty into a unique and interrelated system of conservation, recreation, and educational areas. The community supported trail, which has such amenities as: observation towers, gazebos, an information center, and interpretive signing along the trail, is attracting thousands of bikers and nature enthusiasts. The 11 kilometer trail has increased access to the Piñones Coastal Zone and the Piñones Mangrove State Forest, which is an ecologically sensitive area. During construction, provisions were made to minimize impacts to wetlands, such as constructing a boardwalk to insure tidal flow into the mangroves and to avoid impacts to protected species. Native plants and shrubs were also used for landscaping and reforestation along the trail. Nesting areas of the Leatherback sea turtle were protected by prohibiting any artificial lighting of the trail or any use of the trail at night. This innovative facility goes beyond providing a transportation facility for pedestrians and cyclists. It is a significant tool to promote environmental education and interpretation of the natural, cultural, and aesthetic resources along the trail.

photo: bicyclists on trail with forest in background

Project Contributors

Puerto Rico Department of Transportation and Public Works/Highway and Transportation Authority Martha Bravo-Colunga, Transportation Enhancement Coordinator Carment A. Morales, Environmental Project Coordinator Vivian De Jesús, Engineer Project Administrator José Velásquez, Engineer Project Administrator

Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources Anselmo De Portu, Environmental Planner, Regional Coordination Area Daniel Galán, Director, Forest Management Division Doreen Parés, Management Officer, Piñones State Forest

Consultant Otto Octavio Reyes-Casanova, Architects

Updated: 12/03/2012
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