DEP Awards Grants for Local Recreational Trail Projects

Sept. 25, 2014

~Program funds more than $4 million for community projects~

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Florida Recreational Trails Program has granted more than $4 million for 26 outdoor recreation projects in the 2014 funding application cycle. The Recreational Trails Program provides competitive grant funds to local communities to renovate, develop or maintain recreational trails and trailside facilities.

Project proposals submitted from applicants addressed local interest in motorized, non-motorized, mixed-use and single-use trails. Twenty-six projects totaling $4,024,875 were included on the priority list and approved for funding ranging from $37,750 to $200,000. Grants funded in this cycle include 19 counties extending from Miami-Dade to Okaloosa County. Each grantee has up to two years to complete the project.

“Whether biking, running, inline skating, riding a horse or an off-road vehicle, grant funds provided by the Recreational Trails Program assist local communities in meeting the needs and interests of their residents,” said DEP Deputy Secretary of Land and Recreation Katy Fenton. “The department looks forward to the development of the proposed projects, expanding recreational resources across the state.”

Two examples of projects awarded by the Recreational Trails Program 2014 funding cycle include:

  • The city of Sanford’s Terwilliger Trail is part of Central Florida’s developing system of trails. The 12-foot-wide, paved multi-use trail for hikers, cyclists and skaters will provide a direct link to the city’s Riverwalk Trail, which connects to the developing Coast to Coast Connector.  In addition to enhancing regional trail connectivity, connecting neighborhoods to destinations via this recreational trail is one of the city’s goals; and
  • Building on previous state investments, the St. Johns River Trail Phase 2 project includes the development of a hiking nature trail, interpretative signage and fitness stations at Green Cove Springs Nature Preserve, which was funded for acquisition by the Florida Communities Trust in 2002.

The Recreational Trails Program is a federally-funded assistance program of the United States Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration. A portion of the grant awards must be matched by the grantee. In Florida, the competitive grant program is administered by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’sLand and Recreation Grants section within the Office of Operations.

For a list of the 26 funded projects, click here.

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