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Aug. 21, 2008

TPW Commission Approves $5.3 Million in Recreational Trails Grants

HOUSTON — The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission on Aug. 21 approved a record $5.3 million for 30 National Recreational Trail Grant projects across the state and 10 trail improvement projects in state parks.

The National Recreational Trails Fund comes from a portion of the federal gas tax generated by the sale of gasoline for use in off-road recreational vehicles such as dirt bikes and all-terrain vehicles. Money from the trail fund goes toward the creation and maintenance of motorized and non-motorized recreational trails.

The Federal Highway Administration manages the fund and distributes portions of it to states based on a formula that takes into account the state’s population and fuel sales for off-road vehicles. The program allocated $80 million for use nationwide with Texas’ share being a little more than $3.7 million.

Because a number of projects in Texas in previous years were finished under budget and two large projects were cancelled, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission has another $1.5 million to re-allocate this year. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department will utilize $490,000 to fund trail improvements in 10 state parks, leaving in a total of $4.8 million in funding available for eligible trail-construction projects statewide.

More than 70 project proposals were submitted by Texas agencies for funding consideration, and 30 have been recommended for funding for 2008. The Texas Statewide Trails Advisory Board reviewed the proposals and developed a list of recommended projects for funding based on the quality of the project, its cost effectiveness, its impact on recreational trail opportunities and geographic distribution of funds.

List of funded trail-construction projects by county

Angelina County — The City of Lufkin will receive $59,784 for its Lost Arrow Trail expansion, which will include a 2-mile natural-surface trail with bridges, signs and benches.

Bell County — The City of Temple received $188,720 for additions to Friar’s Creek Nature Trail. Additions include a new 1-mile concrete trail, benches and signs.

Bexar County — Universal City is the recipient of $49,300 to build a new 0.75-mile granite trail at Gothic & Northview Parks.

White Knuckle Ranch will also receive $40,000 for the construction of a restroom, pavilion, storage building and to acquire a tractor for its Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) facility.

Brazoria County — The Village of Surfside Beach received $155,996 for the Bluewater Highway Trail, a new 2.7-mile asphalt trail. The grant will also fund the construction of a restroom and a viewing deck.

Brewster County — The City of Alpine received $175,000 for a new 1.3 concrete trail at Alpine Creek.

Cameron County — Cameron County Drainage District No. 1 received $200,000 for a project they are sponsoring at Cascade Park that includes the addition of a 1.1-mile granite trail, a boardwalk and benches and a restroom.

Coryell County — The City of Gatesville received $163,600 for a new 1.5-mile granite trail, a bridge, benches and land acquisition at Faunt LeRoy/Raby Trail.

Crocket County — The Texas Motorized Trail Coalition sponsored a project at Escondido Draw Recreation Area for the acquisition of 85 acres of land, the build of a water well and renovation of the electrical system. The group received a grant for $205,788 for the project.

Denton County -The City of Corinth received $1888,786 to renovate a 4.46-mile trail, bridges and to create erosion control at Elm Fork.

The City of Denton received $49,500 for the renovation of a pedestrian bridge and approach trail at Lake Forest Park.

Ellis County — The City of Waxahachie received $200,000 for the MKT Trail. The project proposal includes a new 4.5-mile crushed aggregate trail, fencing and benches.

Fayette County — The City of La Grange is the recipient of a $161.603 grant for the construction of a new 4-mile natural-and-granite trail system, bridges, gazebos and signs for its Strides for Nature program.

Hamilton County — The City of Hamilton received $76,742 for the construction of a .61-mile asphalt trail in Pecan Creek Park. The money will also go toward renovating the restrooms, new lights and signs.

Harris County — The Greater Houston Off-Road Biking Association is sponsoring the Double Lake trail expansion that will include a new 12-mile natural-surface mountain bike trail. The group was granted $120,000 for the project.

Harris County Municipal Utilities District received $200,000 for the construction of a new 1.5-mile asphalt hike-and-bike trail and signs.

Hays County — The City of San Marcos received a $200,000 grant for a new 1.8-mile granite trail, benches and signs at the Five Mile Dam.

Hidalgo County — The City of Donna received $280,562 to improve the motocross track, parking areas, fencing and restrooms at Donna OHV (Off-Highway Vehicle) Park.

Lamar County — The City of Paris received $120,000 for the construction of a 0.3-mile extension of a rail-trail, new benches and a bridge at the Trail de Paris West.

Lubbock County — Lubbock County received $214,456 to improve 16 miles of motorized trails at Buffalo Springs Lake. The money will also go toward restrooms and signs.

McLennan County — Stephen F. Austin University will receive $104,700 to add to the Hunt’s Woods Mountain Biking Trail. The project includes a new 1.3 mile trail that is compatible with the Americans with Disabilities Act, the renovation of a 1.9 miles bike trail and the construction of bridges.

Montgomery County — The Woodlands Association received a $200,000 grant to build a 1.5-mile natural-surface trail, four creek crossings and to develop signs at George Mitchell Preserve.

Nueces County — The City of Corpus Christi received $200,000 for build a new 0.75-mile granite trail, a bridge, signs, benches and an overlook at Oso Conservation/Interpretive Park.

Palo Pinto County — The Brazos River Authority received $121,600 to build a new 5-mile natural surface trail at Possum Kingdom Lake. The money will also go toward adding parking areas, restrooms and signs.

Rockwall County — Royse City received $128,160 for a project at Walker Haek Trail that includes a new 0.95-mile concrete trail with exercises stations.

Rusk County —  The City of Henderson received $61,440 to build a new .36-mile concrete trail with bridges, lights and signs at Fair Park.

Travis County — The City of Austin will receive $196,000 to renovate a 9-mile motorized trail, pavilion, fence and signs at Emma Long Park.

The Hill Country Conservancy will receive $200,000 toward its Walk for a Day project that will include the building of a new 5-mile natural surface trail as well as bridges and construction of parking areas and restrooms.

Upshur County — The Texas Motorized Trail Coalition sponsored a project at Barnwell Mountain Recreation Area that includes motorized-trail repair, a tot lot, erosion control, a rock garden and a restroom. The group received a grant of $343,400.

Wood County — Jarvis Christian College received a $200,000 grant to build a 1.7-mile asphalt trail with signs at the Wetlands Nature Trail.

TH 2008-08-21

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