Twelve recreational trails in Ohio, including one in Richland County, have been selected to share in $1,563,354 in federal funds through the Recreational Trails Program (RTP), offered through the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).
“By investing in Ohio’s trails, our communities provide a great opportunity for everyone to enjoy and explore the outdoor spaces they have near their own front door,” said ODNR Director James Zehringer. “Studies continue to show that trails keep growing in popularity, and programs like RTP are a great way to give back to the families who want to explore their neighborhoods.”According to the results from Ohio’s 2018 Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP), trails are highly popular with the survey respondents, and RTP is a successful way to maintain and add new trails across the state.
Locally, some $401,400 is going to a project to replace 1.25 miles of boardwalk within the Fowler Woods State Nature Preserve. The current boardwalk along the Beechdrop Trail, installed in the 1990s, must be replaced – a project with a total price tag of $501,750.
RTP funding goes to projects that create and maintain trails and trail support facilities, improve access for people with disabilities, and provide education about trail safety and the environment. Applications for funding are evaluated using criteria such as need for the trail, public participation during design and trail linkages.
ODNR administers the federal RTP grant program, which funds non-motorized and motorized trails. RTP is a reimbursement grant program that provides up to 80 percent of a project’s funding. ODNR received 42 RTP grant applications, and the agency awarded funding to 12 projects statewide. More than 354 local trail projects across the state have received more than $30 million in federal funds through ODNR since RTP began in 1993.
Funding for RTP comes from the U.S. Federal Highway Administration and a portion of the federal motor fuel excise tax collected from non-highway recreational fuel use.
Source: Ohio Department of Natural Resources