More than $800,000 in federal recreational trails grants have been allocated to 48 projects in New Jersey this year, and another $1 million may soon be available for 2011 projects, Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin announced today.
Applications for the next round of federal grants are now being accepted by the DEP for consideration for funding in 2011 to develop, maintain and improve trails throughout New Jersey. The federal funds, which are administered by the DEP's Office of Natural Lands Management, can be used to improve access to open space, enhance environmental resources, create urban and suburban corridors and provide additional hiking, biking and horseback riding opportunities.
The deadline to apply to the DEP is Dec. 15. Federal, state, county and local government agencies, and nonprofit groups are eligible for the federal funds.
"Preserving and enhancing our natural resources and open spaces, and providing affordable recreational opportunities for our residents are priorities of the DEP,'' said Commissioner Bob Martin. "The quality of life in many New Jersey cities and towns is enhanced by the broad network of trails, which connects the fabric of our communities.''
Trails can provide appreciation and accessibility of open space in rural, urban and suburban areas, as well as enjoyment by persons of all abilities, ages and means who are seeking physical activity and improved fitness as part of a healthy and active lifestyle, said the Commissioner.
In 2011, the DEP expects to award about $1 million in competitive grants for groups that maintain, develop and operate trails. Recipients are required to provide a 20 percent matching share for each project. The funding is contingent upon congressional authorization or an extension of the U.S. Department of Transportation's Surface Transportation Bill.
"These funds are vital to the development and maintenance of a statewide network of trails in New Jersey," said DEP Assistant Commissioner of Natural and Historic Resources Amy Cradic. "The matching grants will provide for greater access to the state's many open spaces while providing alternative transportation corridors, health and fitness opportunities and enhancing the state's vast natural and historic resources.''
This year, 48 trail projects have received $833,109 in funding from the Federal Highway Administration's Recreational Trails Program. Included are a wide variety of trails projects statewide.
For example, a $25,000 grant was awarded to the nonprofit Student Conservation Association (SCA) to work with the Essex County Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs on trail maintenance and improvements in various Essex County parks and reservations.
SCA also received $25,000 to work with the Hunterdon County Department of Parks and Recreation to repair and improve trails at Musconetcong Gorge Preserve.
Wawayanda State Park partnered with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, Sussex County and Vernon Township to receive $25,000 to develop a parking area to allow access to the popular Appalachian Trail ADA accessible boardwalk over the Pochuck Creek wetlands. Brick Township received $11,200 to develop trailhead facilities and trail rehabilitation on the Airport Tract and Sawmill Bicycle Paths.
In the city of Camden, Cooper's Ferry Development Association is being provided $25,000 to develop the Von Neida Park Greenway Trail that will connect to a larger Camden GreenWay System that links other trails, parks and recreational areas throughout Camden County.
The 48 grant recipients in 2010 were recommended for funding by the New Jersey Trails Council and approved by the Federal Highway Administration.
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.
Those interested in additional grant information, an application form, or who want to read New Jersey's 2009 Trails Plans Update that offers a vision, goals and strategic actions to guide the state's trails efforts, should visit www.trails.nj.gov
Following is a list of approved 2010 recreational trail projects, totaling $833,109:
Egg Harbor Township PAL, Equestrian Trails and Park: $25,000
Edgewater Borough, Veterans Field Multi-Use Pathway: $25,000
Camden County Parks Department, Farnham/Cooper River Bikeway: $25,000
Camden Greenways, Inc., New Camden Park Waterfront Trail: $25,000
Camden Greenways, Inc., Stewardship and Volunteer Trail Workshops: $15,000
Cherry Hill Township, Cherry Hill Trails Program: $25,000
Cooper's Ferry Development Association, Von Neida Park Greenway Trail: $25,000
Gibbsboro Borough, Blueberry Hill to Pole Hill Connector Trail: $25,000
Hilltop Conservancy, Inc., Interpretive Signage: $4,362
Student Conservation Association, Inc., Essex County Trails Crew: $25,000
Gloucester County 4-H Association, Monroe Township Nature Preserve: $25,000
Guttenberg Town, Hudson River Waterfront Walkway: $25,000
Lebanon Township, Trail Improvements: $22,050
Student Conservation Association, Inc., Hunterdon County Trails Crew: $25,000
Voorhees State Park, Trail Maintenance: $8,000
Lawrence Township, Drexel Woods Trail Improvements: $25,000
Trenton City, Mill Hill Park Accessible Path: $25,000
Washington Crossing State Park, Visitor Center to Nature Center Connector Trail: $23,175
Cheesequake State Park, Interactive Kiosks: $4,079
Kingston Greenways Association, Cook Natural Area Trail Improvements: $8,940
Sayreville Borough, Nature Trails: $25,000
Allaire State Park, Trailhead Improvements: $1,600
Manasquan Borough, Capital to the Coast Trail Signage: $1,516
Millstone Trailblazers, Inc., Mine Hills Trail Project: $25,000
Mendham Township, Trail Expansion/Maintenance Project: $22,250
Mount Olive Township, Turkey Brook Park Trails: $6,750
Pequannock Township, Mountainside Park Trails: $8,023
Brick Township, Trailhead Facilities and Trail Rehabilitation: $11,200
New Jersey Forest Fire Service, Pancoast Road Trail: $25,000
New Jersey Natural Lands Trust, Crossley Preserve Trail Restoration: $3,750
Parvin State Park, Parvin Long Trail Improvements: $11,300
Franklin Township, Middlebush Park Pathway: $25,000
Heritage and Agriculture Association, Inc., Lusscroft Farm Equine and Hiking Trails: $21,500
Wawayanda State Park, Appalachian Trail Access/Parking: $25,000
Stephens State Park, Musconetcong River Kayaking Trail: $8,500
Belleplain State Forest, (Cape May and Cumberland), Trail System Improvements: $3,093
Bull's Island Recreation Area, (Hunterdon and Mercer), Maintenance Equipment: $17,600
Bull's Island Recreation Area, (Hunterdon and Mercer), Maintenance Trailer: $5,000
Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park (Mercer, Middlesex and Somerset), Trails
Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park (Mercer, Middlesex and Somerset), Trails
Maintenance Equipment: $2,800
East Coast Greenway Alliance (Essex, Hudson, Mercer, Middlesex, Somerset and Union), Guide to Bicycling and Walking 2011: $15,000
Jersey Off Road Bicycle Association (Atlantic, Burlington, Mercer, Monmouth, Middlesex, Hunterdon, Morris, Somerset, Passaic, Sussex and Warren), Park Infrastructure Improvements: $24,998
Jersey Off Road Bicycle Association (Atlantic, Burlington, Mercer, Monmouth, Middlesex, Hunterdon, Morris, Somerset, Passaic, Sussex and Warren), Trail Tools, Supplies and Training: $24,990
New Jersey Conservation Foundation (Statewide, all counties), New Jersey Trails Inventory: $23,500
New York-New Jersey Trail Conference (Bergen, Morris, Passaic, Sussex and Warren), Managing Invasive Plant Species Along Trails: $7,416
New York-New Jersey Trail Conference (Passaic, Sussex and Warren), Trail Conditions Inventory: $24,200
State Park Service - Central Region, (Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris and Somerset) Trail Maintenance Equipment: $12,000
State Park Service - Central Region, (Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris and Somerset) Trail Utility Vehicle: $17,200