Commission Agenda Item No. 7
Presenter: Tim Hogsett

Texas Statewide Recreational Trail Grants Funding
Recommended Approval of Trail Construction, Renovation and Acquisition Projects
May 25, 2017

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 (TSTAC). 

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 (FY2017); 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.  A number of projects funded in previous years were completed under budget and five projects were cancelled, creating another $700,000 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 $4,375,236 of federal funding available to fund eligible trail construction projects.

The program has an annual deadline of February 1st for local sponsors to submit trail funding proposals.  We had 75 projects that were submitted for funding and consideration requesting $12,999,964 in funds. Projects were evaluated and scored by the TSTAC.  Recommendations are to fund 22 of the projects totaling $3,460,215 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 TSTAC met in March 2017 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. 

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

"Funding for 22 projects recommended in Exhibit A in the amount of $3,460,215 and state park trail improvements in the amount of $700,000 is approved."

Attachments – 1

  1. Exhibit A – Project Listing and Funding Recommendations

Commission Agenda Item No. 7
Exhibit A

Ranking of 2017 Recreational Trail Grant Proposals
Score Sponsor Project Name County Funds Requested Funds Recommended Project Description
54 Chaparral Rails to Trails, Inc. Chaparral RTT Merit to Celeste Hunt $200,000.00 $200,000.00 8 mile rail trail. Bollards, culverts, handrails. Multi-use (including equestrian), non-motorized.
54 Houston Audubon Society Horseshoe Marsh Nature Trail Galveston $63,850.00 $63,850.00 1 mile trail (~875' crushed granite), ~600' boardwalk, observation decks, parking lot expansion, ~125' fencing. Pedestrian use, non-motorized.
53 Big Thicket Natural Heritage Trust Dogwood Trail Preserve Acquisition Tyler $200,000.00 $200,000.00 Purchase 35 acres of land, Renovate .80 miles of natural surface trail.
53 Texas Motorized Trails Coalition Escondido Draw Recreation Area - 2017 Crockett $394,991.00 $394,991.00 Renovate 88 miles of OHV trail with erosion controls, signage, trail maintenance equipment, picnic tables, benches, trash receptacles, pavilion, parking area, entrance kiosk, fencing, etc.
52 Austin Ridge Riders City Park Trails Travis $15,000.00 $15,000.00 Renovate 7.56 miles of motorized, multi-use trail, signs, hand tools
52 Texas Motorized Trails Coalition Barnwell Mountain Recreation Area - 2017 Upshur $198,000.00 $198,000.00 Renovate 10 miles and construct 5 miles of new OHV trail with erosion controls. Install vault toilets, helipads.
52 Westcave Outdoor Discovery Center Expansion of Uplands Trail System Travis $47,001.00 $47,001.00 New .1 mile accessible stabilized decomposed granite trail with signage, benches, and fencing.
51 Bureau of Land Management Cross Bar Management Area Multi-Use Trails Potter $42,860.00 $42,860.00 New 7.55 miles of trail, Mini Skid Steer Equipment, hand tools, signs, trailhead kiosk
48 Friends of the Fort Worth Nature Center and Refuge Greer Island Hub Tarrant $200,000.00 $200,000.00 .19 mile long, 5' wide crushed limestone trail. Parking lot, composting toilet, trailhead kiosk and signage, levee stabilization. Pedestrian use, non-motorized.
48 Houston Arboretum & Nature Center Houston Arboretum Boardwalk & Trail Enhancement Harris $200,000.00 $200,000.00 670' of new boardwalk, 911' renovation of old boardwalk. Pedestrian use, non-motorized.
48 Texas Trails and Active Transportation Conference (TTAT) TTAT CONFERENCE sponsored by Bike Texas Travis $20,000.00 $20,000.00 Partial funding of the 2018 Texas Trails and Active Transportation Conference in March 2018.
47 San Elizario San Elizario Circuit Trail Phase I El Paso $184,395.00 $184,395.00 New .66 mile aggregate surface hike & bike trail. Road crossings, benches, trash receptacles, bollards, signage, interpretation kiosks, fencing.
46 Georgetown San Gabriel Trail Williamson $200,000.00 $200,000.00 .44 mile long, 10' wide concrete trail. Bridges, fencing, signage, drinking fountain. Multi-use, non-motorized.
45 Greenbelt Alliance of Denton County Lake Ray Roberts Equestrian Trail & Trailhead Improvements Denton $106,408.26 $106,408.26 Renovation of 9.5 miles of existing trail. Horse corrals, hitching rails, 2 UTVs, UTV trailer, 2 chainsaws, 2 pole saws, training. Equestrian, Multi-use, non-motorized.
45 Tom Green County Pugh Park-Christoval Trail Improvements Tom Green $199,119.00 $199,119.00 Renovate 2.6 miles and construct new .4 mile stabilized decomposed granite trail with picnic tables, drinking fountains, benches, and signage.
44 Bryan Bryan Camelot Park Brazos $104,500.00 $104,500.00 New .075 concrete trail, ADA ramps, ADA parking, bridge, stairs, retaining wall
44 Exploration Green Conservancy Exploration Green Trails Harris $200,000.00 $200,000.00 1.1 mile long, 10' wide concrete trail. Multi-use, non-motorized.
44 Hale Center Caudle Lake Nature Trail Hale $84,091.00 $84,091.00 .57 asphalt trail, culverts, bridges, benches, trees, signage. Multi-use, non-motorized.
44 Travis County Arkansas Bend Recreational Trail Travis $200,000.00 $200,000.00 New 3 mile crushed aggregate trail with interpretive and directional signage.
43 Carthage Carthage City Trail Panola $200,000.00 $200,000.00 New .75 miles concrete / decomposed granite trail, shade shelter, water fountain, signs, bridges, culverts.
43 Fort Bend County MUD No.23 FBCMUD 23 Hike and Bike Trails Fort Bend $200,000.00 $200,000.00 1.1 mile long, 6' wide concrete trail. Benches, bike racks. Multi-use, non-motorized.
43 Los Fresnos Los Fresnos Hike and Bike Trail Cameron $200,000.00 $200,000.00 1.09 mile long, 10' wide concrete trail. Pedestrian signals, bridge. Multi-use non-motorized.
41 Laredo Merida Phase II Hike and Bike Trail Extension Webb $200,000.00 $0.00 .76 mile long, 10' wide concrete trail. Multi-use, non-motorized.
38 Hallsville City of Hallsville Walking Trail Harrison $58,686.02 $0.00 60' concrete gap in existing trail, concrete ADA parking spot, 18'x8' restroom, lighting, benches, trash cans. Multi-use, non-motorized
38 Keller Connecting Overton Ridge Park Tarrant $161,056.00 $0.00 .58 mile long, 10' wide concrete trail. Multi-use, non-motorized. *City of Keller has Identified this project as the city's priority.
37 Converse Converse Greenway Trail Bexar $200,000.00 $0.00 .64 mile long, 10' wide concrete trail. Signage, seating boulders. Multi-use, non-motorized.
37 El Paso Ascarte to Riverside Trail El Paso $200,000.00 $0.00 3.7 mile long, 10' wide concrete trail. Entry portals, fencing, pavilions, benches, table, landscaping. Multi-use, non-motorized
37 Huffman ISD Public multi-use campus trail Harris $200,000.00 $0.00 .75 mile StaLok accessible trail, .25 mile Ipe wood boardwalk. Signage, benches, water fountains. Multi-use, non-motorized.
36 South Texas Botanical Gardens & Nature Center Improving Accessibility to Natural Areas at South Texas Botanical Gardens & Nature Center Nueces $117,995.00 $0.00 Renovate .36 miles and construct new 1.16 mile decomposed granite trail. Widen and improve existing trail & boardwalks. Install benches and trash receptacles.
36 Waller Creek Conservancy City Trails Waller Creek Conservancy Travis $200,000.00 $0.00 New 1.5 mile accessible concrete and crushed aggregate trail with trailhead, benches, drinking fountains, trash receptacles, bike racks and interpretive / wayfinding signage.
33 Guadalupe-Blanco River Trust Plum Creek Wetlands Preserve Community Trail Caldwell $200,000.00 $0.00 1.17 mile long, 6' wide concrete trail. Multi-use, non-motorized.
33 Timber Lane Utility District Cypress Creek Hike and Bike Trail Harris $200,000.00 $0.00 Renovation of .32 mile of trail and construction of new .58 mile concrete trail with bridges.
32 Chandler Winchester Park Trails Henderson $182,799.00 $0.00 .81 mile long, 6' wide concrete trail. Multi-use, non-motorized.
32 Nassau Bay City of Nassau Bay Trail Harris $199,794.40 $0.00 .38 mile long concrete trail. SWPPP, Parking signage, striping and wheel stops. Multi-use, non-motorized.
30 Copperas Cove Copperas Cove City Park Trails Coryell $200,000.00 $0.00 .5 mile long, 10' wide concrete trail. Multi-use, non-motorized.
30 Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary Sycamore Trail Renovation at the Heard Museum Collin $185,400.08 $0.00 Renovation of .64 miles of trail and .66 miles of service roads. Pedestrian use, non-motorized. (Motorized use is listed in application, but is not public)
29 Athens Athens Connecting Trail Project Henderson $200,000.00 $0.00 New 1.04 mile concrete / asphalt trail, Renovate .74 miles of concrete / asphalt trail, ADA crossings, landscaping, erosion control, signs
29 Bonham Bonham Trail Fannin $156,529.00 $0.00 New .98 mile, trail lights, benches, trailhead shade shelter
28 Allen Bethany Lakes Loop Trail Collin $200,000.00 $0.00 New .83 mile concrete trail, ADA Crossings, benches, trash cans, erosion control, trailhead improvements.
28 Bevil Oaks Bevil Oaks Hike & Bike Trail Jefferson $129,880.00 $0.00 New .30 miles concrete trail, ADA parking, culverts and bollards.
28 Memorial Heights Redevelopment Authority White Oak Bayou Trail / Woodland Park Trail Connector and Recreational Loop Harris $200,000.00 $0.00 .17 mile long, 10' wide concrete trail and .38 mile long, 10' wide DG trail. 2 Bollards. Multi-use, non-motorized.
27 Friends of Sachse Parks and Recreation Sachse Highline Hike and Bike Trail Dallas $200,000.00 $0.00 1 mile long, 10' wide concrete trail. Bridges, street signs. Multi-use, non-motorized.
27 Omaha Park Board Omaha City Park Morris $96,345.20 $0.00 .37 mile long, 5' wide concrete trail. Trail lighting, shade structure, benches, and trash cans. Multi-use, non-motorized.
26 Justin Garrett Trail Denton $200,000.00 $0.00 .4 mile +long, 8' wide concrete trail. Multi-use, non-motorized.
25 Clarksville City Clarksville City Walking Trail Gregg $106,413.87 $0.00 .47 mile long, 5' wide asphalt trail. Disc golf, exercise stations. Multi-use, non-motorized.
24 Ore City City of Ore City Walking Trail Upshur $144,526.71 $0.00 .43 mile long, 6' wide concrete trail. Fitness stations, shade shelter, water fountain, benches, trash can, parking. Multi-use, non-motorized.
24 Waxahachie Little Creek Trail Ellis $200,000.00 $0.00 Renovate .6 miles and construct new 1.2 mile concrete trail with bridges and trailhead amenities.
24 Westchase District Wilcrest Trail Harris $199,065.23 $0.00 New .32 mile concrete trail.
23 Greater Southeast Management District MacGregor Park Trail Connectors and Rehabilitation Harris $191,587.00 $0.00 .3 mile long, 10' wide DG trail. Signage, bike racks, benches. Multi-use, non-motorized.
23 Houston Parks Board Brays Bayou Greenway Trail Connection Harris $192,000.00 $0.00 New .14 mile concrete trail connector, canopy, trailhead improvements, signs, furnishings, landscaping. Multi-use, non-motorized.
23 Selma Stage Stop Park / Harrison House Trail Bexar $200,000.00 $0.00 New 1 mile natural surface or compacted aggregate trail. Bridges, Gates, Kiosks, Trash Receptacles, Bollards, Signage, Lighting, Drainage Structures, Retaining Wall.
21 Little Elm Panther Creek Trail Section II Denton $200,000.00 $0.00 .75 mile long, 10' wide concrete trail. Boardwalk, benches, trash receptacle, interpretive signage. Multi-use, non-motorized.
21 Lone Star College- CyFair Outdoor Learning Lab Recreational Trail Harris $68,179.00 $0.00 .47 mile long, 4' wide concrete trail. Trash and recycle containers, signage, and benches. Multi-use, non-motorized.
21 Lucas Lucas Trail Collin $68,342.60 $0.00 4.288 mile long natural surface trail. Low water crossings, signs, trail markers, surveying, easement acquisition. Multi-use, non-motorized.
20 Rio Hondo Rails to Trails in Rio Hondo Cameron $160,000.00 $0.00 2.3 mile long, 6' wide crushed concrete / geo-grid paver trail. Parking lot, native plants, restroom, lighting and signage. Multi-use (including equestrian), non-motorized.
19 Tres Lagos Public Improvement District Tres Lagos PID Trail System Hidalgo $200,000.00 $0.00 New 1.59 mile asphalt trail with benches, trash receptacles, and pet stations.
18 Nolanville Wildwood Trail Bell $160,000.00 $0.00 .82 mile long, 8' wide DG or concrete trail. 4 interactive play stations, native planting. Multi-use, non-motorized.
17 Kenedy Escondido Creek Parkway Karnes $200,000.00 $0.00 .91 mile long, 12' wide concrete trail. Trees, benches, trash cans, bike racks, dog waste receptacles. Multi-use, non-motorized.
16 Bridgeport Endeavor Bridgeport Adventure Park Entrance Wise $224,200.00 $0.00 Renovate 1.25 miles of trail, entrance road, fencing, signs
16 Dallas ISD Environmental Education Center Outdoor Fitness Trail Dallas $126,720.00 $0.00 2 mile long, 10' wide asphalt trail. Fitness stations. Pedestrian use, non-motorized.
16 Teague City of Teague Walking Trail Freestone $98,027.00 $0.00 New .48 mile decomposed granite walking trail with boardwalk, restroom, solar lighting, benches, trash receptacles.
16 Viridian Municipal Management District Viridian - River Legacy Connector Trail Tarrant $200,000.00 $0.00 New .62 mile accessible concrete trail with bridge, kiosks, interpretive & directional signage, benches, trash receptacles, pet stations, bike racks.
16 Woodlands College Park Drive Side path Montgomery $245,750.00 $0.00 New .4 mile concrete trail with ADA ramps and culverts. *City of Woodlands has Identified this project as the city's priority.
15 Sanger Poter Park Trail Linkage Denton $200,000.00 $0.00 New .83 mile concrete trail with parking lot, low water crossing & lighting.
15 Texas AgriLife Extension Service Creekside Haven Park Nature Trail Montgomery $62,470.00 $0.00 New .5 mile decomposed granite trail with ADA ramp, signage, seating, and trees.
14 Royse City Heritage Trail Rockwall $199,843.00 $0.00 New .435 mile concrete trail, ADA crossing, Bollards, lighting, traffic control, trees and xeriscaping. Multi-use, non-motorized.
14 YMCA of Austin YMCA Camp Cypress Recreational Trails Project Travis $190,049.00 $0.00 New 1.36 mile trail with 1 mile of accessible stabilized crushed aggregate surface and .36 miles of natural surface. Benches, Restrooms, and Interpretive / Wayfinding Signage.
12 Northeast Texas Community College NTCC Fitness Trail Titus $200,000.00 $0.00 1/2 mile long, 8' wide asphalt trail, trail lighting, parking lot, fitness stations, benches, trash cans. Multi-use, non-motorized.
9 Keller Trail Connection through Milestone Park Tarrant $207,992.00 $0.00 .43 mile long, 10' wide concrete trail. Lighting bollards. Multi-use, non-motorized.
Score Sponsor Project Name County Funds Requested Funds Recommended Project Description
9 Sam Houston Trail Coalition Multiple Use Trail 2017 Walker $400,000.00 $0.00 Renovate / Reopen 84 mile Multiple Use Trail in Sam Houston National Forest. Contracting with FS Trails Unlimited, Bridge, and Drainage Structures.
9 Watauga Whites Branch Park Trail Tarrant $136,440.00 $0.00 New .2 mile concrete trail with bridge, benches, and trash receptacles.
9 Woodlands Research Forest Drive Pathway Montgomery $306,029 $0 New .61 mile concrete trail with ADA ramps and culverts.
9 Woodlands Retail Access Gap Montgomery $113,860 $0 New .23 mile concrete trail with ADA ramps and culverts.
9 Woodlands S. Panther Creek Drive Side path Montgomery $312,727 $0 New .61 mile concrete trail with ADA ramps and culverts.
9 Woodlands Sterling Ridge Park & Ride Access Gap Side path Montgomery $137,043.00 $0.00 New .23 mile concrete trail with ADA ramps and culverts.
** Bold = Motorized Request   Total Requests = $12,999,964  
      Total Recommended = $3,460,215