On May 21 Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission approved $2.38 million in federal grants for 17 recreational trail projects across the state.
The National Recreational Trails Fund comes from a portion of the federal gas tax generated by gasoline purchases for off-road motorcycles and four-wheelers. The purpose of the NRTF is to create new, or improve existing, recreational trails.
A requirement of the NRTF is that 30 percent of the total funds must be spent on motorized recreational trails, 30 percent on non-motorized trail projects with the remaining 40 percent being discretionary.
Motorized trails project sponsors that were awarded funding include the Texas Motorized Trail Coalition and the White River Municipal Water District.
The Texas Motorized Trail Coalition in Crockett County received $386,581 for improvements to the Escondido Draw Recreation Area. The grant money will fund renovating 110 miles of existing trails, restrooms, the education and safety training building, signs, the water treatment system, and electric power and park lights.
The Texas Motorized Trail Coalition in Upshur County was awarded $188,172 for improvements in the Barnwell Mountain Recreation Area. The funds will go toward adding a new five-mile OHV trail and renovating the existing 15-mile trail, the education and safety training building, vehicle wash and signs.
The White River Municipal Water District in Crosby County was granted $381,616 to improve the White River Reservoir Multi-Use Trail System. Improvements include adding a new 15-mile OHV trail; renovating 10 miles of existing trail, fencing, the entrance road, signs and equipment; and managing construction.
The non-motorized trail projects awarded funding are listed in alphabetical order by county below:
The North Texas Rural Rail Transportation District in Archer and Wichita counties was awarded $199,680 for Wichita Valley Railway Daylight Trail improvements, which include renovating 6.5 miles of rail trail with improved surfacing.
The Friends of Brazoria Wildlife Refuges in Brazoria County received $160,000 for the Bobcat Woods Trail extension project. Improvements include repairing 0.2 miles of existing trail, constructing a new 0.65-mile trail, signs and benches and restoring a water well, the observation platform and support structures.
The Brazos Valley Mountain Bike Association in Brazos County was granted $20,000 for the rehabilitation and expansion of the Lake Bryan Trail System. Improvements include constructing a new two-mile trail; adding signage, tools and equipment; and renovating the existing 23-mile trail.
The City of DeSoto in Dallas County was awarded $200,000 to improve the DeSoto Ranch Park Nature Trail by constructing a new 1.5-mile trail, signs, a bridge and boardwalk and installing benches, a bicycle station, parking lot and trashcans.
The Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center at Cedar Hill in Dallas County received $43,120 to improve the Flowering Dogwood Trail and Observation Tower. Improvements include adding a one-mile trail and signs, interpretive and educational signs, benches, bridges and an observation deck.
The Mountain Creek Community Church with DORBA in Dallas County was awarded $130,000 to improve the Big Cedar Pavilion and Wounded Warriors Trail. Improvements include constructing a new 1.5-mile trail and renovating one mile of existing trail, the pavilion, restrooms, signs, bridges, parking, water fountain, bike rack and fire hydrant, as well as making the trail accessible.
The Frontera Land Alliance in El Paso County received $58,100 for a new urban trail in the Resler Canon Nature Preserve. The funds will go toward constructing a new 0.5-mile trail with signs, benches and a viewing platform, as well as toward hand tools and equipment.
The City of Denison in Grayson County was granted $200,000 to improve trails at Waterloo Lake Regional Park. Improvements include renovating existing trails and constructing a new 0.5-mile concrete trail and retaining walls, as well as improving the parking lot, signs and bridges.
The City of Baytown Parks and Recreation Department in Harris County received $44,044 to implement the Cary Bayou Trail Phase III renovation project, which includes constructing a new 0.75-mile decomposed granite trail and culvert, as well as adding trashcans, signage and benches.
Jim Wells County was granted $52,544 to add trail amenities, including trailside restrooms, a trail tool storage building, water fountains, lighting, fitness stations, fencing and a pavilion, to the Tecolote Trails.
The Cooper Spring Nature Park Foundation in Lampasas County was awarded $69,596 for improvements to the Cooper Spring Nature Park recreational trails. The funds will go toward constructing a new 1.9-mile accessible trail, bridge and signs.
Sam Houston Trails Coalition, Inc. in San Jacinto County was granted $200,000 for the Lone Star Hiking Trail: San Jacinto River Bridge Project, which includes constructing a new bridge and renovating two miles of existing trails and the trail bridge and conducting resource surveys.
The Eaton Hill Nature Center in Sutton County received $24,560, which will go toward adding trail amenities, including a trailhead kiosk and interpretive signs.
The Tyler County Heritage Society in Tyler County was awarded $18,720 to improve the Big Woods Trail. Improvements include renovating 0.8 miles of existing trail, signs, erosion control and the bridge and installing benches, picnic tables and a trailhead kiosk.
Funding for the following projects was also authorized by the commission, contingent upon National Recreational Trail Fund apportionment.
Coke County Economic Development Group in Coke County, a motorized trails project sponsor, will be awarded $399,818 for improvements to the Coke County OHV Park, including constructing a 12-mile trail and renovating the existing 5-mile trail, parking area, signage, restroom and fencing.
The non-motorized trail projects that will be awarded funding contingent upon approval are listed in alphabetical order by county below:
The Robertson Colony-Salado College Foundation in Bell County received $14,159 to improve the Salado College Park Trail by constructing a new 0.08-mile decomposed granite trail and installing accessible parking and signs.
Texas A&M University – Texarkana in Bowie County was granted $199,500 for implementing Phase 2 of renovating the Bringle Lake Trail. Renovations include improving 2.5 miles of trail with a soil-cement mixture to make it accessible, as well as installing signs and benches.
The City of Deer Park in Harris County was granted $200,000 to improve the North East Hike and Bike Trail. Improvements include constructing a new 2.6-mile decomposed granite trail and adding signs, trailheads, benches, water fountains and bike racks.
The City of Sulphur Springs in Hopkins County was awarded $199,465 to improve the Crosstown Trail. Improvements include a new 0.52-mile concrete trail, erosion control systems and installing benches, trashcans, a bridge, signs and culverts.
The National Park Service Lake Meredith National Recreation Area in Hutchinson County received $162,240, which will go toward constructing a new 3.38-mile trail and installing an erosion control system and signs.
The City of Fort Worth in Tarrant County was awarded $131,264 for the Arcadia Trail Park South-Trail extension. The grant will fund construction of a new 0.1-mile concrete trail and the installation of bridges and signs.
The University of Texas at Austin’s Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Travis County was granted $47,155 for improving Research Trail. Improvements include renovating 0.9 miles of existing trail, installing interpretive signs, an erosion control system and accessibility signs.
For more information about the grant awards or the recreation grant programs, see TPWD’s grants Web page http://tpwd.texas.gov/business/grants/ , phone the Recreation Grants Branch at 512-389-8224 or email: Rec.Grants@tpwd.texas.gov.