TRENTON – More than $1.8 million in federal grant money is being allocated for developing, maintaining and improving recreational trails throughout New Jersey, the Department of Environmental Protection announced.
The funds will improve access to open space, enhance environmental resources, create urban and suburban corridors and provide additional hiking, biking and horseback riding opportunities.
In the coming year, the DEP will award approximately $1 million in competitive grants for groups that maintain, develop and operate trails. Recipients are required to provide a 20-percent matching share for each project.
Earlier this autumn, 48 trail projects received a total of $833,109 in funding from the Federal Highway Administration’s Recreational Trails Program.
The approved projects include a $25,000 grant to the Monmouth County Park System to develop a trail that will connect Hartshorne Woods Park to the newly acquired Claypit section bordering Claypit Creek. The nonprofit New Jersey Youth Corps of Plainfield was awarded $25,000 to improve and maintain a trail through Green Brook Park in partnership with Union County Department of Parks and Community Renewal.
Also, Allamuchy Mountain State Park received $16,000 to develop a multi-use trail along Allamuchy Pond in cooperation with the Jersey Off Road Bicycle Association. In Cape May County, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was awarded $23,774 to develop a two-mile, disabled-accessible Beach Boardwalk Trail in Cape May National Wildlife Refuge.
Merchantville Borough received $25,000 to upgrade and extend the Chestnut Avenue Pedestrian Path and Bikeway along an abandoned railroad right-of-way that will prove significant for future regional connections throughout Camden County.
The DEP also will reserve money from the federal grant program for the development of future motorized trail projects. Thirty percent of each year’s funding must be allocated for motorized trail recreation.
The 48 trail projects were recommended for funding by the New Jersey Trails Council and approved by the Federal Highway Administration under the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act. Since the program’s inception in 1993, New Jersey has awarded more than $9 million to federal, state, county and local governments and nonprofit agencies.
The DEP’s Office of Natural Lands Management administers the program. The Trails Council comprises representatives from hiking, mountain biking, motorized trail use, canoeing/kayaking and horseback riding interest groups, as well as several general trail advocates and state government representatives.
Government agencies and nonprofit organizations have until Dec. 15, 2009, to apply for the 2010 funding. Those interested in additional grant information and the application form should visit www.trails.nj.gov or call the DEP Trails Program at 1-609-984-1339.
Following is a list of approved 2009 recreational trail projects, totaling $833,109:
Meadowlands Conservation Trust, Richard P. Kane Natural Area: $21,880
Palisades Interstate Park Commission, Southern Trails Extension: $21,070
Cooper’s Ferry Development Association, Wiggins Park Trail Restoration: $25,000
Merchantville Borough, Chestnut Avenue Pedestrian/Bikeway Extension: $25,000
Cape May County
Cape May National Wildlife Refuge, Two-Mile Beach Unit Boardwalk Trail: $23,774
Livingston Township, Trail Maps and Signage: $9,150
South Mountain Conservancy Inc., Trail Repairs and Signage: $24,875
Hudson County, Hudson River Waterfront Walkway: $25,000
Alexandria Equestrian Association Inc., Schick Reserve Trails: $12,500
Readington Township, Trail Network: $19,600
Friends of Howell Living History Farm, Baldpate Mountain History Trail: $25,000
Mercer County Equestrian Center, Mercer Educational Gardens Trail Linkage: $13,746
Mercer County Park Commission, Signage and Mapping: $21,000
Princeton Township, Quaker Road Pathway: $10,000
Friends of Princeton Nursery Lands, Mapleton Preserve/Princeton Nursery Trails: $6,865
Middlesex County Parks and Recreation, Trail Mapping: $2,500
South Brunswick Township, Freedom Trail Improvements: $24,000
Atlantic Highlands Borough, Trail Improvements 2009: $25,000
Monmouth County Park System, Claypit Creek Connector: $25,000
Wall Township, Capital to the Coast Trail: $1,260
Denville Township, Muriel Hepner Park: $25,000
Morris Township, Jockey Hollow Trails: $25,000
Wharton Borough, West Morris Greenway Trail: $25,000
Brick Township, Trail Restoration and Maintenance: $17,725
Double Trouble State Park, Multi-Use Trail Restoration: $7,458
Newark Watershed Conservation & Development Corp., Echo Lake Accessible Trail: $21,972
Passaic River Coalition, Waterview and Highland Meadow Trails: $14,860
Wayne Township, High Mountain Park Trails: $11,250
Parvin State Park Appreciation Committee, Trail Improvements: $25,000
Bedminster Township, River Road Trail Restoration: $24,400
Andover Township, Andover Trail/Bikeway: $25,000
Newton Town, Sussex Branch Trail Rehabilitation: $25,000
Paulinskill Valley Trail Committee, the Park at Sparta Junction: $25,000
Stokes State Forest, Trail Marker Replacement: $4,000
Wawayanda State Park, Double Pond Trail: $3,072
Wawayanda State Park, Livingston Trails Rehabilitation: $4,010
New Jersey Youth Corps of Plainfield, Green Brook Park: $25,000
New Providence Borough, Oakwood Park Trails: $9,000
Allamuchy Mountain State Park, Allamuchy Pond Trail: $16,000
Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park (Mercer, Middlesex, Hunterdon and Somerset), Podcast Trail Tours: $4,330
Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area (Sussex, Warren), Trail Maintenance and Restoration: $25,000
East Coast Greenway Alliance (Essex, Hudson, Mercer, Middlesex, Somerset and Union), Education and Awareness Project: $19,160
Jersey Off Road Bicycle Association (Atlantic, Burlington, Mercer, Monmouth, Middlesex, Hunterdon, Morris, Somerset, Passaic, Sussex and Warren), Trail Equipment Storage and Transport: $13,000
Jersey Off Road Bicycle Association (Atlantic, Burlington, Mercer, Monmouth, Middlesex, Hunterdon, Morris, Somerset, Passaic, Sussex and Warren), Trail Maintenance Equipment: $19,400
Jersey Off Road Bicycle Association (Atlantic, Burlington, Mercer, Monmouth, Middlesex, Hunterdon, Morris, Somerset, Passaic, Sussex and Warren), Trail Tools and Supplies: $15,161
New Jersey Audubon Society (Bergen, Cape May, Hunterdon, Ocean, Sussex and Warren), Trail Improvements: $4,395
New York-New Jersey Trail Conference (Morris, Passaic, Sussex and Warren), Trail Skills Workshop Series: $24,696
Passaic Valley Sewerage Commissioners (Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris, Passaic, Somerset and Union), Passaic River Blueway: $12,000
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