CHRISTIE ADMINISTRATION ANNOUNCES DISTRIBUTION OF $755,000 IN
RECREATIONAL TRAIL GRANTS
FEDERAL FUNDING WILL BE USED TO IMPROVE TRAILS AND ENHANCE OUTDOOR
RECREATIONAL OPPPORTUNITES ACROSS NEW JERSEY
(14/P30) TRENTON – The Christie Administration has approved 39 applications totaling $755,054 for recreational trails projects in 15 counties across New Jersey, plus a host of projects that cross many other county and municipal lines, Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin announced today.
The funds come from the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHA) 2013 Recreational Trails Program and are administered by the DEP’s Green Acres Program.
The goal of the Recreational Trails Program is to improve access to open space, enhance environmental resources, create urban and suburban corridors, and provide additional hiking, biking and horseback riding opportunities in all areas of the state, to be enjoyed by persons of all abilities, ages and means.
“Preserving and enhancing natural resources and open spaces, and providing affordable recreational opportunities for our residents are priorities for the Christie Administration,’’ said Commissioner Martin. “The quality of life in New Jersey cities and towns is enhanced by our broad network of trails, which connect our communities to a vast array of green spaces. It is especially appropriate to announce the latest round of funding for our trails network during Earth Week.’’
The grants are awarded, through a competitive process, to groups that maintain, develop and operate trails. Recipients are required to provide a 20 percent matching share for each project.
“These funds are key to the continuing development and maintenance of our statewide network of trails in New Jersey, providing for greater access to the state's many open spaces and enhancing the state's natural, wild and historic resources,’’ said DEP Assistant Commissioner of Natural and Historic Resources Rich Boornazian.
The announcement of this round of grants was delayed for six months because much of the State Green Acres Program staff has been focused on post-Superstorm Sandy buyouts of storm-damaged homes to help families impacted by the storm, through the Blue Acres Program.
The 39 grant recipients were recommended for funding by the New Jersey Trails Council and approved by the FHA. The Trails Council is comprised of representatives from hiking, mountain biking, motorized trail use, canoeing/kayaking and horseback riding interest groups, as well as several general trail advocates and state government representatives.
The FHA provides financial assistance to states for developing and maintaining trails and trail facilities. The funds come from the Federal Highway Trust Fund, and represent a portion of the motor fuel excise tax collected from non-highway recreational fuel use. Since the program’s inception in 1993, New Jersey has awarded more than $17 million to federal, state, county and local governments, and nonprofit agencies.
Encompassed in the latest round of grant approvals are a wide variety of trails projects statewide, including:
- $24,000 grant awarded to the Warren County Planning Department to purchase and install a prefabricated pedestrian bridge to open a section of the Morris Canal Greenway. Utilizing the historic Morris Canal route and spanning a breach in the canal towpath, this project comprises an integral component of Warren County’s 25-year Morris Canal Greenway Plan.
- $24,000 grant awarded to Gloucester Township to develop new trailhead facilities that will improve access to the 2.75 mile-long Gloucester Township Fitness Trail.
- $18,000 grant awarded to Natural Lands Trust to prepare a Tidal Maurice River Water Trail Guide and Map for Cumberland and Salem counties, install informational signs displaying the Water Trail Map, produce a web link as a digital reference, to improve and expand the hiking trails that connect to the Water Trail at NLT's Peek Preserve and to update the Peek Preserve brochure to reflect the expanded hiking trail system.
- $24,000 grant awarded to the Student Conservation Association in partnership with Liberty State Park in Jersey City to clear an existing trail and adjacent wooded area of overgrowth and invasive species, repair the trail surface, and replant areas with native plant material.
- $24,000 grant awarded to the State Division of Parks and Forestry in partnership with the Student Conservation Association to improve trails in two State Parks (to be determined) through soil stabilization, trail clearing and marking, improvements to existing trail markers and signage, invasive species control, footbridge construction and rehabilitation, view shed enhancements to three freshwater lakes, collection of GPS data of trails for printing of trail maps and removal of blow downs due to storms.
Following is a total list of approved 2013 recreational trail projects:
Closter Borough, Northern Valley Trail: $24,000
Franklin Lakes Borough, Franklin Lakes Nature Preserve Accessible Trail: $24,000
New York-New Jersey Trail Conference, Cedar Swamp Boardwalk: $12,526
Whitesbog Preservation Trust, Centennial Trail Project: $16,488
Rancocas Conservancy, Inc., Trails to Understanding: $5,767
Student Conservation Association, Batona Trail Maintenance: $24,000
Cooper's Ferry Partnership, Baldwin's Run Tributary Trail: $24,000
Gibbsboro Borough, Blueberry Hill Trail: $24,000
Gloucester Township, Gloucester Township Bike Path – Southern Trailhead Facility: $24,000
Natural Lands Trust, Inc., Tidal Maurice River Water Trail: $18,000
Eagle Rock Conservancy, Summer Trails Crew: $24,000
Secaucus Town, Mill Creek Point Trail Connection and Greenway Improvement: $24,000
New Jersey Meadowlands Commission, Meadowlands Paddle Trails: Water Markers and Brochure: $8,000
Student Conservation Association, Liberty State Park Crew: $24,000
Jersey City Redevelopment Agency, Morris Canal Greenway: Berry Lane to Ercel Webb Segment: $24,000
Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park, Delaware River Corridor Trail Systems: $24,000
Kingwood Township, Horseshoe Bend Park-Trail Restoration 2013: $23,978
Student Conservation Association, SCA Crew – Hacklebarney, Voorhees, Round Valley: $24,000
Lawrence Township, Signalized Trail Crossing – Province Line Road – Lawrence Hopewell Trail: $24,000
Vocational Science Training Center, D&R Canal – Trenton Maintenance Project: $24,000
Hopewell Township, Lawrence Hopewell Trail – Pennington Connector: $24,000
Allaire State Park, Trail Restoration: $17,000
Chester Borough and Chester Township, Chester trails – Recovering and Moving Ahead: $24,000
Schiff Natural Lands Trust, Inc., Schiff Trail Network Improvements: $24,000
Morris County Park Commission, Patriots’ Path Upgrade: $24,000
The Land Conservancy of New jersey, South Branch Preserve Trail: Phase 1: $9,752
New Jersey Beach Buggy Association, Rebuilding of Sand Dunes and Trails of Island Beach State Park: $23,000
Passaic River Coalition, Emerald Trail: $24,000
Heritage and Agriculture Association, Inc., Ongoing Trails Head End Maintenance and Improvements: $16,420
Stokes State Forest, Blue Mountain Loop Project: $21,000
Union County, Watchung Reservation Trails Improvement Project: $24,000
Linden City, Hawk Rise Sanctuary: $24,000
Warren County Planning Department, Bilby Road Morris Canal Greenway Walking Bridge: $24,000
Projects in Multiple Counties:
For more information on recreational trails in New Jersey, visit: http://www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests/natural/trail_grants.htm
New York- New Jersey Trail Conference, Invasives Strike Force: $23,800
Jersey Off Road Bicycle Association, Stihl Power Equipment Purchase: $7,350
Jersey Off Road Bicycle Association, Tools, Equipment, Signs and Material Purchase: $23,973
New Jersey Division of Parks and Forestry-Southern Region, State Park Service Trail Improvements: $24,000
New Jersey Division of Parks and Forestry-Southern Region, Region-wide rail Marking Supplies: $7,500
New Jersey Division of Parks and Forestry-Northern Region, Northern Region State Park Service Trail Hub Development and Maintenance: $24,000