Commission Agenda Item No. 3
Presenter: Tim Hogsett

Recreation Trails Grant Funding
May 22, 2014

I.       Executive Summary:  This item is to award federal funds allocated under the National Recreational Trail Grants for trail construction, renovation and acquisition projects.  This item obligates federal National Recreational Trail Funds to eligible trail projects based upon the recommendations of the Texas Statewide Trails Advisory Committee.

II.     Discussion:  The National Recreational Trails Fund (NRTF) comes from a portion of the federal gas tax generated by gasoline purchases to utilize off-road recreational vehicles, such as off-road motorcycles and four-wheelers.  The purpose of the NRTF is to provide funding for projects that create new and maintain existing motorized and non-motorized recreational trails.  These federal funds are administered by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and distributed to states via a formula that takes into account state population and sales of fuel for off-road recreational vehicles.  Nationwide, the program was appropriated $85 million for the current federal fiscal year (FY2014); Texas’ share of these funds is $3,954,874.  Seven percent of the state’s apportionment ($279,638) is utilized to cover costs to administer the program, leaving $3,675,236 to fund projects.  Year before last, the FHWA reviewed their funding distribution formula and discovered an error that underfunded the Texas apportionment from 2009 through 2011.  This error has been corrected with additional funding authorized for Texas.  A number of projects funded in previous years were completed under budget and three projects were cancelled, creating another $500,000 available for re-allocation this year.  The Department has been utilizing the re-allocated funding to fund trail improvements in state parks.    The result is a total of $5,775,236 of federal funding available to fund eligible trail construction projects.

The program has an annual deadline of February 1 for local sponsors to submit trail funding proposals.  82 projects were submitted for funding consideration requesting $13,437,892 in funds. Projects were evaluated and scored by the Texas Trails Advisory Board.  Recommendations are to fund 38 of the projects totaling $5,253,655 of federal funding assistance.

The Act that created this fund stipulates that states must have a trails advisory board made up of various trail user group representatives to be eligible to receive the federal funds.  The purpose of the trails advisory board is to provide guidance in the distribution of these funds.  The nine member Texas Statewide Trails Advisory Committee met in March 2014 to review the submitted trail project proposals and develop a list of recommended projects for funding.  Each project was reviewed by the advisory committee and scored based on the quality of the project, its cost effectiveness, its impact on recreational trail opportunities, and geographic distribution of funds.  Exhibit A contains the list of submitted projects, with funds requested, project scoring and funding recommendations made by the advisory committee and a description of each project.

A federal requirement of the NRTF is that 30 percent of the funds be spent on motorized recreational trail projects, 30 percent on non-motorized trail projects, with the remaining 40 percent discretionary.  Because few public park entities in Texas provide opportunities for motorized trail riding, it is typically difficult to generate enough motorized trail proposals to meet the 30 percent motorized trail mandate.  As such, the grant funding limit for motorized proposals is $400,000 per project versus $200,000 for non-motorized proposals.  Funding recommendations in Exhibit A include 8 motorized trail projects that satisfy the 30 percent motorized trail requirement.

III.    Recommendation:  The staff recommends the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopt the following motion:

"Funding for 38 projects recommended in Exhibit A in the amount of $5,253,655 and state park trail improvements in the amount of $500,000 is approved."

Attachments – 1

  1. Exhibit A – Project Listing and Funding Recommendations

Commission Agenda Item No. 3
Exhibit A

Ranking of 2014 Recreational Trail Grant Proposals

Score Sponsor Project Name County Funds Requested Funds Recommended Project Description
54 City of Childress ATV & Moto Park Improvements Childress $193,144 $193,144 New 13 mile trail, road repairs, fencing, maintenance area, erosion control
53 City of Graham Graham ATV and Moto Park Young $188,400 $188,400 New 8 mile trail, access road, staging area, planning
48 City of Canton City Lake Park Trail Van Zandt $97,168 $97,168 New 0.66 mile trail, signing, bridges, benches
48 Greenbelt Alliance of Denton County Lake Ray Roberts Equestrian Trail Denton $132,313 $132,313 Renovate 10 mile trail, bridge, signing
48 Hill Country Conservancy Violet Crown Trail Travis $200,000 $200,000 New 0.9 mile trail, bridge, low water crossing, signing
47 City of Brownwood Camp Bowie Walking Trail Brown $200,000 $200,000 New 2 mile trail, crosswalks, benches, signing
47 City of Hico Hike & Bike Trail Extension Hamilton $117,567 $117,567 New 0.3 mile, renovate 0.4 mile asphalt trail, benches, signing, fountain
47 City of Tyler Faulkner Park Lake Trail Smith $98,300 $98,300 New 0.5 mile trail, observation deck, signing, benches, tables
46 East Texas Arboretum Trail Enhancements Henderson $10,000 $10,000 Signing, drinking fountain, tree trimming, benches
46 Texas A&M University &emdash; Texarkana Bringle Lake Trail Renovation Bowie $199,500 $199,500 Renovate 2.5 mile trail, benches, signing
45 City of Canyon Canyon Parks Bike/Jog Trails Randall $73,168 $73,168 New 3.1 mile trail
45 Texas Motorized Trail Coalition Barnwell Mountain Recreation Area Upshur $235,571 $235,571 Renovate 30 mile trail, maintenance building, trailhead shelters, parking
44 Village of Surfside Beach Bluewater Trail, phase III Brazoria $153,593 $153,593 New 1.75 mile trail, bridge, fitness stations
42 Caddo Trail Riders Association Caddo Grassland Equestrian Trails Fannin $65,800 $65,800 Renovate 27 mile trail, signs, water, hitching posts
42 Galveston Island Nature Tourism Council Big Reef Interpretive Trail Galveston $136,000 $136,000 New 1.5 mile trail, observation deck, signing, benches, parking
42 City of McAllen McAllen Motocross Park Hidalgo $400,000 $240,000 New 2.5 mile motorized riding area, restroom, fencing, signing
42 City of Rockport Memorial Park Hike/Bike Trail Restoration Aransas $50,400 $50,400 Resurface 1.6 mile trail, signing, benches, water fountain
41 City of Bridgeport Northwest OHV Park Wise $28,960 $28,960 Trail tools, maintenance vehicle, signing, radios
41 Greens Bayou Corridor Coalition Bradfield Park Harris $98,280 $98,280 New 0.4 mile trail, signing, parking, benches, bike rack
41 Lasara ISD Lasara Community Nature Trail Willacy $96,803 $96,803 New 1 mile trail, benches, bridge, signing, observation deck, tools
39 City of Breckenridge Breckenridge Park Walk/Jog Trail Stephens $71,680 $71,680 New 0.57 mile trail, bridges, benches
39 City of Olney Olney Walking Park Young $89,796 $89,796 New 0.33 mile trail, bridge improvements, lighting, signing, benches
39 City of Rusk Rusk Recreational Trail Cherokee $164,305 $118,830 New 0.8 mile trail, benches, signs, parking area
38 City of Bridgeport Northwest Hike & Bike Park Wise $67,040 $67,040 New 6 mile trail, restroom, fencing, signing, benches, tables
38 City of Kilgore Kilgore Recreational Trail Gregg $199,510 $199,510 New 1.7 mile trail, bridge, benches, signing
38 National Park Service Lake Meredith NRA &emdash; S. Turkey Creek Trail Moore $148,260 $148,260 New 10.6 mile trail
38 City of Port Isabel Galvan-Bejarano McFarland Trail Cameron $200,000 $200,000 New 1.4 mile trail in TxDOT ROW
38 Sam Houston National Forest Multi-use Trail Rehabilitation Walker $336,000 $336,000 Renovate 10 miles dirt trail, bridges, trailer, training
37 City of Horseshoe Bay Horseshoe Bay Trail Burnet $110,334 $110,334 New 2.2 mile natural surface trail, signs
37 City of Levelland Levelland Trail Expansion Hockley $27,594 $27,594 New 0.18 mile trail, benches
37 Mission Bend Greenbelt Association Bayou Hike & Bike Trail Extension Fort Bend $96,640 $96,640 New 0.7 mile trail, signing, access ramps, gates
36 Friends of Trinity Strand Trinity Strand Trail Dallas $33,984 $33,984 Water fountains, bike racks, benches,signing
36 Town of Little Elm McCord Trail, Phase II Denton $200,000 $200,000 New 0.7 mile trail, bridge
36 San Diego ISD San Diego Nature & Fitness Trail Duval $155,870 $146,520 New 0.4 mile trail, benches, signs
36 Town of Trophy Club Trophy Club OHV Park Improvements Denton $144,000 $144,000 Parking, signs, fencing, visitor shade shelters
35 City of Raymondville Raymondville Sports Park Willacy $48,500 $48,500 New 0.33 mile trail, singing, water fountain, benches
35 City of San Bonito Heavin Trail Expansion Cameron $200,000 $200,000 New 2.75 mile trail
35 Texas Motorized Trail Coalition Escondido Draw OHV Recreation Area Crockett $558,832 $400,000 Electric and water to site, entrance gate, signing, erosion control
34 City of Mesquite Clay Mathis Greenbelt Hike & Bike Trail Dallas $200,000 $0 New 0.5 mile trail, bridge underpass, benches, signing
34 City of Nassau Bay Peninsula Trail Enhancement Harris $200,000 $0 New 0.2 mile trail, parking
33 Fort Bend County Camp Cloud YMCA Camp Fort Bend $179,776 $0 New 1 mile asphalt & wood deck trail, benches, signs, trash cans
33 City of Gladewater Lake Gladewater Nature Trail Gregg $199,806 $0 New 1.2 mile trail, bridge, shade shelter, benches, water fountain
33 City of Southlake Trail Safety Enhancement Denton $200,000 $0 Renovate 5 mile trail, erosion control, signing
30 City of Deer Park Park to Park Hike & Bike Trail Harris $200,000 $0 New 2.24 mile trail, signing, benches, water fountain
30 City of El Paso Tierra Del Este Trail El Paso $200,000 $0 New 1 mile asphalt trail, signs
30 Town of Horizon City Horizon Heights Trail El Paso $93,833 $0 New 0.5 mile trail, signs, benches, bike rack, erosion control
30 City of Pharr Pharr Hike and Bike Trail Hidalgo $200,000 $0 New 1 mile trail, Parking, restroom, signing, water fountains, fencing
29 City of El Campo West Loop Park Wharton $197,032 $0 New 1.3 mile trail
29 City of Mission Mission Hike/Bike Trail Extension Hidalgo $200,000 $0 New 1.2 mile trail, restroom, parking area
29 White River Municipal Water Dist. White River Multi-Use Trail System Crosby $381,616 $0 New 15 miles motorized trail, renovate 10 miles, restroom, fencing, equipment
29 City of Whitehouse Gardenview Park Trail Smith $101,887 $0 New 0.38 mile trail, benches, signing
28 City of La Marque Highland Bayou Park Trail Galveston $200,000 $0 New 1 mile trail, signs, benches
28 City of Seguin Community Park Nature and Bike Trail Guadalupe $200,000 $0 New 0.9 mile trail, lighting, benches, signing, water fountain
27 City of Wake Village Wake Village Trail System Bowie $200,000 $0 New 0.85 mile trail, parking, benches
26 City of Cedar Hill FM 1382 Trail Dallas $200,000 $0 New 1.3 mile concrete trail, bridges, signing,
26 City of Houston Wildheather Park Trail Harris $150,000 $0 New 0.5 mile trail, city will fund remaining amenities
26 City of Waco Cameron Park Mountain Bike Trail McLennan $200,000 $0 New 0.2 mile skills traill, benches, signing, water fountain
25 Student Conservation Association Building Trails for Texas History Harris $121,144 $0 New 0.9 mile trail, resource surveys, crew recruiting, living expenses
24 City of Belton Nolan Creek Hike & Bike Trail Bell $200,000 $0 New 0.25 mile trail, lighting, signing, benches, tables, water fountain
23 City of Denton Lake Forest Restroom & Trail Extension Denton $199,156 $0 Restroom, land acquisition, parking, signing, bridges, benches
23 City of Everman Pitman Park Renovation Tarrant $199,376 $0 Renovate 1 mile trail, lighting, fitness stations, benches, tables
21 Ben Wheeler Arts & Historic Dist. Found. Town Park in Ben Wheeler Van Zandt $188,599 $0 New 0.66 mile trail, bridge, shade shelter, benches, fitness stations, lighting
21 City of Jacksonville Athletic Complex Trail Cherokee $195,527 $0 New 0.8 mile concrete trail, benches
20 Sam Houston Trails Coalition, Inc. Richards-Raven Trail Network, Phase 3 Montgomery $200,000 $0 New 8 mile equestrian trail, bridges, trailhead, signing, NEPA
19 City of Huntington Centennial Park Trail Angelina $184,642 $0 New 0.5 mile trail, shade structure, benches, fitness stations, water fountain
19 City of Omaha Omaha City Park Morris $199,738 $0 New 0.4 mile trail, shade structure, fitness equipment, lighting, restroom, entry road
18 City of Grand Saline William B. Persons Park Trail Van Zandt $145,360 $0 New 0.7 mile trail, parking, benches, signing
17 City of Corrigan Corrigan City Park Polk $141,828 $0 New 0.17 mile trail, restroom, fitness equipment, lighting, benches
17 Horsepen Bayou MUD Walking Trails of Concord Bridge Harris $95,000 $0 New 0.6 mile concrete trail, signs
17 City of Irving Las Colinas Trail Dallas $199,447 $0 New 0.1 mile trail
17 City of Mount Vernon Little Creek Park Walking Trail Franklin $199,820 $0 New 0.33 mile trail, bridge, water fountain, shade struct., benches, fitness equip.
17 City of North Richland Hills Cotton Belt & John Barfield Trailhead Tarrant $87,086 $0 Parking area, signing, bike racks
16 Town of Flower Mound Rheudasil Park Multi-use Trail Denton $159,728 $0 Renovate 0.16 mile trail, benches, pavilion, water fountain, landscaping
16 City of McAllen McAllen Youth Baseball Complex Trail Hidalgo $192,000 $0 New 2 mile trail, benches, water fountain
16 Town of Ransom Canyon Ransom Canyon Park Trail Lubbock $194,641 $0 New 0.5 mile trail, pavilion, restroom, fitness stations, benches, tables
16 City of Shallowater Young City Park Lubbock $199,899 $0 New 0.66 mile trail, shade structure, benches, fitness stations, lighting
15 City of Weslaco City Park Trail Hidalgo $200,000 $0 New 1.4 mile asphalt trail, benches, shade, signs, lighting
14 City of Crystal City Juan Garcia Park Trail Zavala $199,994 $0 New 1.2 mile trail, shade structure, benches, fitness stations, lighting
12 Town of Prosper Cockrell Park Collin $200,000 $0 New 0.5 mile trail, ballfield, pavilion, fencing, landscaping
12 Runnin WJ Therapeutic Center, Inc. Project Horsepower Bowie $60,000 $0 No itemized budget
11 City of Gun Barrel Silverleaf Trail Henderson $82,445 $0 New 0.17 mile trail, bridge, benches, tables, signing, landscaping
9 City of Dallas Trinity Trail &emdash; Trail Side Facilities Dallas $121,200 $0 Signing, benches, kiosks, picnic tables
Total Requests =  $13,497,892    
Total Recommended =  $5,253,655  

**Bold = Motorized Request