Much of $1 Million in Projects Will Provide Key Trail Network Connections
(November 14, 2012) - In another step forward for his Cycle Maryland Initiative and for his Statewide Trails Vision “Maryland Trails: A Greener Way To Go,” Governor Martin O’Malley today announces more than $1 million in grants for the Maryland State Highway Administration’s (SHA) Recreational Trails Program (RTP). The 2013 grants are awarded to 11 counties, 12 municipalities and 8 nonprofit associations to support a variety of projects involving construction of new trails, maintenance of existing trails, as well as equipment purchases.
“Trails provide connections and help people enjoy Maryland’s natural treasures, reducing the impact on the land and improving fitness and well-being,” said Governor O’Malley. “These funds will support the development of a statewide trails system that complements Smart Growth, sustainable communities and enhanced quality of life for all of Maryland’s citizens and visitors.”
The RTP provides grants that range from $5,000 to $64,000 for trail maintenance, construction and stewardship projects for all types of trails including bicycling, pedestrian uses (hiking, running, wheelchair use), in-line skating, equestrian use, cross-country skiing, off-road motorcycling, all-terrain vehicle riding and four-wheel driving.
The selected projects include off-road bicycle route connections, trail restorations, bike route signage, safety improvements and trail guides. One highlight is $40,000 in funding to build a new connector trail between the town of Indian Head and the Indian Head Rail Trail.
The RTP supports Governor O’Malley’s Statewide Trail Vision “Maryland Trails: A Greener Way To Go,” by focusing trail investments on missing links in the statewide trail network. The program connects people with natural and cultural resources as well as access to more active lifestyles. Since taking office, Governor O'Malley has awarded $7 million in RTP funds to communities across Maryland.
SHA partners with the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), other State agencies and trail user groups to solicit and select good projects that meet statewide trails goals. They include economic development, transportation, environment and public health. Selected RTP grant projects maximize Maryland’s existing trail network usage and make needed connections and/or enhance existing state designated investment areas such as designated Scenic Byways, Heritage Areas and/or Main Streets.
Governor O’Malley created the Cycle Maryland Initiative to consolidate and coordinate bicycle programs to make bicycling a true transportation alternative and to encourage more people to get outside and ride. The goal is to support the economy to provide a cleaner environment and to encourage a healthier lifestyle and a better quality of life for all Marylanders.