The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission approved $3,014,992 million in federal funding for 26 National Recreational Trail Grant projects in communities across the state. The total includes $485,000 in re-allocated trail funds for trail improvements in seven state parks.
The seven state parks to receive trails funding are Bastrop, Brazos Bend, Cooper Lake, Eisenhower, Government Canyon, Lake Brownwood and Martin Dies Jr. The money will go toward renovating existing trails, making trails more accessible, and helping with layout, design and other improvements.
All told this year, TPWD received 82 project proposals requesting trail grant funding totaling $11.5 million--both figures are records, the most ever received. The 10-member Texas Statewide Trails Advisory Board reviewed the proposals and developed a list of recommended projects for funding based on the quality of the project, its cost effectiveness, its impact on recreational trail opportunities and geographic distribution of funds.
The National Recreational Trails Fund comes from a portion of the federal gas tax generated by the sale of gasoline for use in off-road recreational vehicles such as dirt bikes and All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs). Money from the trail fund goes toward the creation and maintenance of motorized and non-motorized recreational trails.
The Federal Highway Administration manages the fund and distributes portions of it to states based on a formula that takes into account the state's population and fuel sales for off-road vehicles. Nationwide, the program was appropriated $95 million for the current fiscal year. However, funding for the program is included in the Transportation Funding Bill which Congress has funded through June 30, making only 75 percent of the annual apportionment available to states at present.
The program provides 80-20 matching grants, so that in each case the grant recipient must pay for 20 percent of the total project cost. Dollar amounts shown below are 80 percent of the project cost.
List of sponsors awarded funds for trail projects, by county:
--Angelina County -- Cassels-Boykin Trails, $73,336, new 7 mile hike/bike trail, bridges, benches, signs
--Bastrop County -- City of Elgin, Shenandoah Trail, $77,395, new 0.6 mile granite trail
--Bexar County -- San Antonio River Authority, Helton -- San Antonio River Park Trail, $150,000, new 1.1 mile granite/concrete trail
--Bexar County -- Friends of Friedrich Wilderness Park, Friedrich Wilderness Park Trail, $76,700, new 4.7 mile natural surfaced nature trail, signs
--Bexar County -- City of Converse, North Park Walking Trail, $55,142, new 1.2 mile asphalt trail, benches, signs, drinking fountains
--Brazos County -- City of College Station, Iron Bridge Trail, $76,020, renovate 0.6 mile granite trail, benches, signs
--Cameron County -- City of Brownsville, Belden Trail, $151,274, new 1.0 mile asphalt trail, benches, bollards
--Childress County -- City of Childress, ATV & Moto Park Improvements, $180,024, motorized trail park improvements, fencing, tools, erosion control
--Coke County Economic Development Group, Coke County OHV Park, $50,000, new motorized trail park, restroom, utilities, parking, fencing
--Collin County -- Trinity Trail Preservation Association, Trinity Trail Erosion Control Project, $27,960, renovation/erosion control along 25 mile equestrian trail
--Crosby County -- White River Municipal Water District, ATV Trails, $141,200, new ATV motorized park, parking lot, fencing, signs, pavilion, tables
--Culberson County -- Town of Van Horn, Van Horn Recreational Trails, $150,000, new 4 mile motorized trail, tools/equipment, storage shed, signs
--Fort Bend County -- City of Richmond, Richmond Trail, $109,280, new 0.9 mile granite/concrete trail, bridge
--Harris County -- City of Baytown, Nature Center Trails, Phase II, $73,350, new 1 mile granite trail, benches, signs, fencing, boardwalk
--Hays County -- City of Dripping Springs, Harrison Ranch Park Equine Trail, $100,000, new 1.8 mile natural surface trail, parking area, signs
--Hopkins County -- City of Sulphur Springs, Buford Park Trail, $63,960, new 0.5 mile concrete trail, benches, signs, bollards
--Jefferson County -- City of Beaumont, Klein Park Walking Trail Improvements, $75,000, resurface 0.7 mile trail, ADA imp., benches, signs, drainage
--Lamar County -- City of Blossom, Blossom Recreational Rail Trail, $100,003, new 1.5 mile asphalt trail, bridge railing, vehicle controls
--McLennan County -- Texas Equestrian Trailriders Association, Waco Lake Reynolds Creek Trailhead, $41,976, restroom, shade, storage shed, tools hitching posts
--Montgomery County -- Sam Houston Trails Coalition, Inc., Richards-Raven Trail Network, $150,000, new 20 mile motorized trail, bridges, trailhead, signs, NEPA
--Montgomery County -- Greater Houston Offroad Mt. Bike Association, Spring Creek Greenway Flintridge Trail, $100,000, new 5 mile renovate 6 mile natural surface trail, bridges, signs
--Red River County -- City of Clarksville, Gate to Texas Trail, $128,000, new 2.0 mile crushed aggregate trail, bridge decking/railing, signs
--Tarrant County -- Fort Worth Mountain Bikers Association, Gateway Park Mountain Bike Trail, $14,372, new 0.5 mile natural surface trail, signs, tools
--Val Verde County -- City of Del Rio, San Felipe Creek Trail Improvement, $149,000, new 0.2, renovate 0.2 mile concrete trail, signs
--Walker County -- Sam Houston National Forest, Multiple-Use Trail Rehab. Phase IV, $200,000, renovate 20 mile motorized trail, erosion control, bridge, signs, equipment
--Wood County -- City of Mineola, Mineola Nature Preserve on the Sabine, $16,000, new 1 mile natural/crushed aggregate trail, signs