Commission Meeting Agenda Item No. 4
Presenter: Trey Cooksey

Texas Statewide Recreational Trail Grants Funding
Recommended Approval of Trail Construction, Renovation, and Acquisition Projects
May 26, 2022

I.      Executive Summary:  With this item, the staff seeks approval from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission (Commission) to award federal funds allocated under the National Recreational Trails Fund (NRTF) grants for trail construction, renovation, and acquisition projects.  This approval obligates federal National Recreational Trails Fund money to eligible trail projects based upon the recommendations of the Texas Statewide Trails Advisory Committee. 

II.     Discussion:  The NRTF is funded by a portion of the federal gas tax generated by gasoline purchases to utilize recreational off-highway vehicles (OHV), 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 and distributed to states via a formula that considers state population and sales of fuel for off-road recreational vehicles.  Nationwide, $85 million was appropriated for the program for federal Fiscal Year 2022; Texas’ share of these funds is $3,954,874.  Seven percent of the state’s annual apportionment ($279,638) is utilized to cover costs to administer the program, leaving $3,675,236 to fund projects.  There was a carryover amount from 2021 of $720,371 for motorized projects.  Several projects funded in previous years were completed under budget and four projects were cancelled, creating another $700,000 available for re-allocation this year.  The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has been utilizing the re-allocated funding to fund trail improvements in state parks. The result is a total of $5,095,607 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.  Fifty-three projects were submitted for funding consideration requesting $15,228,200 in funds. Projects were evaluated and scored by the Texas Trails Advisory Committee.  Recommendations are to fund 17 of the projects, totaling $4,800,900 of federal funding assistance.

The Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (which created this funding) stipulates that states must have a trails advisory committee made up of various trail user-group representatives to be eligible to receive the federal funds.  The purpose of the trails advisory committee is to provide guidance in the distribution of these funds.  The nine-member Texas Statewide Trails Advisory Committee met via conference call in March 2022 to review the submitted trail project applications 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 the geographic distribution of funds.  Exhibit A contains the list of submitted projects, with funds requested, project descriptions, project scoring, and advisory committee funding recommendations.

An NRTF requirement is that 30 percent of the funds be spent on motorized recreational trail projects, 30 percent on non-motorized trail projects, and the remaining 40 percent be designated as 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 $600,000 per project versus $300,000 for non-motorized proposals.  

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

"Funding for 17 projects recommended in Exhibit A in the amount of $4,800,900 and state park trail improvements in the amount of $700,000 is approved."

Attachment – 1

  1. Exhibit A – Project Listing and Funding Recommendations

Commission Agenda Item No. 4
Exhibit A

Ranking of 2022 Recreational Trails Grant Proposals

Recommended for Funding
Score Sponsor Name Project Name Project County Federal Funds Requested Federal Funds Recommended Project Summary
54 Bridgeport Endeavor Bridgeport 2022 Wise County $65,600 $65,600 Renovation of 1 mile of trail and construction of 4 miles of trail with restroom facility and signage.
54 Sam Houston Trails Coalition, Inc. 2022 SHNF Multi-Use Trail Montgomery County $600,000 $600,000 Renovation of 20 miles of multi-use trail with repair/replacement of bridges, signage, and renovation of trailheads.
54 Texas Motorized Trails Coalition TMTC Escondido Draw Recreation Area 2022 Projects Crockett County $829,300 $829,300 Acquisition of 387 acres of new parkland, renovation of 20 miles of OHV trail, road repairs and resurfacing, wildlife viewing shelters, equipment rental and storage shed, signage, and visitor OHV maintenance repair station.
54 Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Palo Pinto Mountains State Park Trails Phase III Palo Pinto County $300,000 $300,000 Construction of 6 additional miles of recreational trail (as Phase III) at a new State Park including .7 mile of accessible improved-surfaced trail and 5.3 miles of multi-use natural surface trail.
54 Waco Motorcycle Club Waco Eagles Motocross Dirt Bike Park McLennan County $472,000 $472,000 Renovation of 10+ miles of trails, restroom, equipment rental, equipment repairs, fencing, signage, storage container, shade shelter, and benches.
53 Don Harrington Discovery Center Improving Visitor Experience and Educational Impact at Wildcat Bluff Nature Center Potter County $8,000 $8,000 Construction and installation of directional and educational signage on existing trail system.
53 Ecology Action of Texas Montopolis Nature Trail Network Enhancement Travis County $94,200 $94,200 Construction and renovation of 4 miles of natural surface trail with bike racks, trail tools, and signage.
53 Texas 4-H Youth Development Foundation Texas 4-H Center Trail System Brown County $188,000 $188,000 Construction of 2.5 miles of accessible natural surface multi-use crushed aggregate trail and renovation of existing trails with signage, benches, and restroom.
53 Texas Trails Education and Motorized Management Texas ATV/OHV Safety Education Program Medina County $77,200 $77,200 Delivery of OHV safety education and training and program development.
52 Scurry County Scurry County Recreational Trails Scurry County $228,100 $228,100 Construction of 5 miles of bike trail, renovation of 2.5 miles of trail with pump track, rest area, ramp, restroom, benches, signage, lighting, and trailhead updates.
50 New Braunfels West Alligator Creek Trail - Phase 2A Comal County $298,200 $298,200 Construction of .55-mile multi-use concrete trail with low water crossings, benches and signage.
49 Cameron County - Parks & Recreation Department Olmito Park Nature Trail Phase I Cameron County $200,000 $200,000 Construction of .5-mile granite trail with benches, trailhead and signage.
49 Highway 380 Municipal Management District No.1 Union Park Multi-Use Trails Network Project Denton County $299,300 $299,300 Construction of 3.85 miles of multi-use trail and .4 miles multi-use aggregate trail, mountain biking skills loop, benches, trailhead, and signs.
48 Wimberley Hike and Bike Trail Improvement Hays County $273,900 $273,900 Renovation and resurfacing of 1 mile of multi-use trail with accessible improved-surface trail.
47 Allen Rowlett Trail South Connection Collin County $300,000 $300,000 Construction of .69-mile multi-use concrete trail with 120' bridge.
47 Laredo Shiloh Bike & Hike Trail Revitalization Webb County $267,100 $267,100 Construction and renovation of 4.17 miles of natural surface trail with drainage work, erosion control, signage, bicycle repair stations, and emergency call stations.
47 Memorial Park Conservancy Outer Loop Trail Harris County $300,000 $300,000 Construction of .46-mile decomposed granite trail with ADA compliant ramping for access connecting sidewalk to trail.
Not Recommended for Funding
Score Sponsor Name Project Name Project County Federal Funds Requested Federal Funds Recommended Project Summary
45 Conroe Alligator Creek Hike and Bike Trail Montgomery County $300,000 $0 Construction of 1.56 miles reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP) hike and bike trail with signage, trailhead, ADA compliant ramps, benches, trash receptacles, and soil stabilization.
45 Galveston Bay Foundation Kemah Trails with Public Access Galveston County $298,300 $0 Construction of 1.5 miles of trail with boardwalk, parking lot, trailhead kiosk, and signage.
45 Morgan's Point Resort Ansay Park - Trail Project Bell County $20,800 $0 Construction of .39-mile crushed aggregate loop trail.
45 University of Houston - Clear Lake UHCL Nature Trail Network Harris County $181,500 $0 Construction of 1.9 miles of trail (1.12 miles of accessible crushed granite and .78 mile of natural surface trail), renovation of .53 mile of existing trail, signage, bike racks, parking, trash / recycle / pet waste stations, equipment rental, benches, tables, footbridge, and boardwalk ramps.
44 Lewisville Interpretive and Wayfinding Signage at LLELA Denton County $133,100 $0 Construction of trail amenities including trailhead kiosks, interpretive signage, trail markers, and bike racks along existing trail system.
44 Travis Audubon Society Inc. Blair Woods Nature Preserve Accessible Trails Project Travis County $196,100 $0 Renovation of .17 mile and construction of .28 mile of accessible stabilized decomposed granite trail with bridge, parking, and equipment rental (tree protection and erosion control- can be incl as construction costs).
44 Tyler W.E. Winters Park Trail Smith County $198,800 $0 Renovation of .65 mile of multi-use concrete trail and amenities including benches, water fountains, trail signage, bike racks, pet waste station, and ADA entrances.
44 Willow Waterhole Greenspace Conservancy South Willow Trail at Triangle Lake Harris County $100,000 $0 Construction of .3-mile multi-use concrete trail, benches, signs, trash receptacles, bike racks, and trailhead with accessible ramp.
43 Hewitt Warren Park Hike & Bike Trail McLennan County $40,000 $0 Construction of .56-mile multi-use concrete / asphalt trail.
43 Mercedes Hike & Bike Trail to Estero Llano Grande State Park - Phase 1A Hidalgo County $200,000 $0 Construction of 1.35 miles improved surface loop trail.
42 Brushy Creek MUD Community Greenbelt trail extension, rehabilitation and ADA access Williamson County $299,500 $0 Renovation of .4-mile granite trail and construction of .7-mile granite trails and 350' concrete trail with signage, kiosks and benches.
42 Presbyterian Mo-Ranch Assembly Mo-Ranch Trail System Kerr County $13,500 $0 Renovation of 2.9 miles and construction of 3.8 miles of natural surface hike and bike trails with composting toilet and trailhead improvements.
39 Mount Vernon Mount Vernon Trail Franklin County $300,000 $0 Construction of 1-mile decomposed granite trail with nature viewing areas, trailhead, benches, picnic areas, and signage.
37 Episcopal Diocese of West Texas Railroad Overlook and Trail Kendall County $242,000 $0 Construction of .34-mile concrete trail with observation deck, seating, retaining walls, and signage.
36 Converse Restroom Facilities for Recreational Trails Bexar County $150,400 $0 Construction of two ADA compliant restroom facilities at two locations along existing trail.
36 Denison Waterloo Lake Regional Park - Ph 2 Trail Improvements Grayson County $287,000 $0 Construction of .24-mile concrete trail.
36 Giddings Veterans Park Trail Grant Lee County $300,000 $0 Construction of .65-mile multi-use concrete trail with trailhead, restroom, fitness stations, water fountains, picnic areas, benches, and interpretive signage.
31 Comal County Master WID Veramendi Trails Phase 2 Comal County $300,000 $0 Construction of 2 miles natural surface trail, trailhead, shade structure, signage, drinking fountain, benches, picnic tables, grill, trash receptacles, and pet waste stations.
29 Fate Fate Station Park Trailhead Rockwall County $275,000 $0 Construction of .35-mile multi-use concrete trail and restroom.
29 Kingsville Dick Kleberg Park Trails Phase 1 Kleberg County $300,000 $0 Construction of 1.75 miles multi-use asphalt trail with metal edging, benches, signage, trailhead, culverts, crosswalks, water fountains, and bollards.
28 Mansfield McClendon Park Trail Tarrant County $281,200 $0 Construction of .3-mile decomposed granite trail.
25 Kyle Kyle Plum Creek Trail Segment P20 Hays County $300,000 $0 Construction of .47-mile multi-use concrete trail.
23 Weslaco Dolores Huerta Trail Hidalgo County $209,300 $0 Construction of .75-mile multi-use trail with trailhead with canopy, water fountains, fencing, and parking.
22 Terrell Kings Creek Park Kaufman County $300,000 $0 Construction of .5-mile multi-use concrete trail with lights and a trailhead.
20 Denton Bowling Green Master Plan Denton County $300,000 $0 Construction of .5-mile concrete trail with benches, pedestrian bridge, and ADA ramps.
19 Ballinger Ballinger Trail System Runnels County $245,600 $0 Construction of 1.25 miles trail, lighting, signage and bike racks.
18 Chambers County Gregory Park Walking Trail Chambers County $260,300 $0 Construction of .22-mile concrete trail.
18 Three Rivers 2022 Kopplin Park Pedestrian and Nature Trails Project Live Oak County $186,000 $0 Construction of 750' multi-use concrete trail.
15 Nueces County Lone Oak Park Improvements Nueces County $300,000 $0 Construction of .75-mile accessible asphalt trail, signage, pavilion, parking, exercise equipment, benches, nature area, and water feature.
12 Lucas Estates Parkway Trail Section Collin County $239,800 $0 Construction of .22-mile crushed granite trail with concrete edging.
10 Whitewright Duck Pond Trail ADA Accessibility and Drainage Improvements Grayson County $300,000 $0 Renovation of 255' trail, installation of drainage structures, retaining wall, culverts, runoff collection systems, street repairs, and solar lighting.
0 Big Sandy Recreational Trails Park Upshur County $240,000 $0 Construction of .81-mile concrete trail, lighting, exercise stations, butterfly garden, and observation platform.
0 Holocaust Remembrance Association Holocaust Garden of Hope (HGOH) Montgomery County $2,073,700 $0 Renovation of park and museum grounds on 2.5 acres including landscaping and walkways of various widths.
0 Pflugerville City Trails Interconnections Travis County $445,600 $0 Construction of .6 miles of concrete trail with drainage culverts and trailhead including ADA ramps.
0 Sam Houston Trails Coalition, Inc. 2022 SHNF Equestrian Trail Montgomery County $311,200 $0 Installation of 5 bridges, 2 puncheons, 5 natural fords, and 2 culverts as part of a continuation of the 35-mile Richards-Raven equestrian trail project.
0 West University Place - Parks and Recreation Edloe Street Pathway Project Harris County $298,600 $0 Construction of .42-mile multi-use trail with landscaping, ornamental trees, irrigation, fencing, water fountain, pet waste station.

*Projects in bold indicate motorized request*              Total Requests = $15,228,200  

Total Recommended = $4,800,900