Saturday, January 28th, 2023
Saturday, January 28th, 2023

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Ohio DNR awards more than $11.7 million for outdoors projects

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio DNR has approved more than $11.7 million in project funding through the Clean Ohio Trails Fund, NatureWorks and Recreational Trails Program grants, which will be used to improve outdoor recreational opportunities for Ohioans across the state, the DNR said in a news release Wednesday, Nov. 1.

To see where the funding will go, click here.

Through the Clean Ohio Trails Fund, the ODNR has conditionally awarded 21 grants for community projects that will acquire land for new trails, build and improve trail infrastructure, including regional trail systems and bridges, links to statewide trails and connections from urban areas to recreational areas.

The $7.2 million in reimbursement funding will be used in 17 counties to develop miles of new trails, trail extensions, land acquisition and bridges. Grant recipients provide a 25 percent match for their projects. Ohioans approved the establishment of the $400 million bond program in 2000.

Through the Recreational Trails Program, the ODNR announced that 15 recreational trail projects in Ohio have been recommended to receive nearly $1.7 million in federal funds. ODNR administers federal RTP grants for the development and improvement of non-motorized and motorized trails. Projects include the creation, expansion, restoration and maintenance of trails and trail support facilities.

RTP is a reimbursement grant program that provides up to 80 percent of a project’s funding. Funding for the RTP comes through the U.S. Federal Highway Administration via a portion of the federal motor fuel excise tax collected from non-highway recreational fuel use.

Through NatureWorks, the ODNR has approved 92 state grants totaling nearly $3 million that will be used to develop and improve public access for outdoor recreation facilities across Ohio. Projects will include the development or improvement of restrooms, basketball courts, playgrounds, dog parks, trails, accessible facilities and more.

NatureWorks provides up to 75 percent reimbursement assistance to local subdivisions of government (townships, villages, cities, counties, park districts, joint recreation districts and conservancy districts) for the acquisition, development and rehabilitation of recreational areas. The projects are funded through the Ohio Parks and Natural Resources Bond Issue, which was approved by Ohioans in November 1993. Additional legislation authorized the creation of the NatureWorks Grant Program.

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