As part of his Cycle Maryland initiative and plan to expand the state’s off-road network of recreational trails, Gov. Martin O’Malley announced Friday more than $1 million in 2013 grants for the State Highway Administration’s Recreational Trails Program.
Eleven counties, 12 municipalities and eight nonprofit associations received grants to support projects that will include the construction of new trails, the maintenance of existing trails, and the purchase of needed maintenance equipment.
In Baltimore City, the Cylburn Aboretum Association will receive $37,200 for its trail improvement project. The Baltimore County Department of Recreation and Parks will received a total of $60,000 to stabilize both the West Towson Trail and the Northeast Trail at Indian Rock. Also, the Cromwell Valley Park Council will receive $30,000 towards stabilizing the Blue and White Trail.
The single largest grant, $64,640, will go toward the Washington, Baltimore & Annapolis (WB & A) Trail’s Lemons Bridge Spur.
“Trails provide connections and help people enjoy Maryland’s natural treasures, reducing the impact on the land and improving fitness and well-being,” said O’Malley said in a statement. “These funds will support the development of a statewide trails system that complements Smart Growth, sustainable communities and enhanced quality of life for all of Maryland’s citizens and visitors.”
Other projects receiving funds include maintenance equipment purchases for the Great Allegheny Passage in Allegheny County, extending the Easton Rail Trail, and improving trail accessibility at the Howard County Conservatory.
A total of $1,066,616.51 was awarded, which a large chunk, $283,065, going to 13 Maryland Department of Natural Resources projects across the state.
Overall, the grants range from $5,000 to $64,000 for maintenance for all types of trails, including “bicycling, pedestrian uses (hiking, running, wheelchair use), in-line skating, equestrian use, cross-country skiing, off-road motorcycling, all-terrain vehicle riding and four-wheel driving,” according to the State Highway Admistration’s press release. The grant funding will be used to improve off-road bicycle route connections, restore trails, add bike route signage, make safety improvements and update trail guides.
The entire list of projects receiving grant funding can be found here.