SPRINGFIELD - Governor Rod Blagojevich today announced $907,200 in grants for recreational trail development projects in six Illinois communities.
“These grants will help expand access to the kind of safe, family-oriented recreation that trails provide,” Blagojevich said. “Regular exercise and outdoor recreation are important to stay healthy and to provide a pleasant quality of life. These trails will help accomplish those goals.”
Funding for the grants comes through the federal government’s Recreational Trails Program, which provides 80 percent of the cost of the trail projects with local sponsors contributing the balance of the funding. The program in Illinois is administered by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources in cooperation with the Illinois Department of Transportation.
The projects were recommended for funding by the Illinois Greenways and Trails Council, a panel which includes representatives of statewide motorized and non-motorized trail user organizations, statewide agency organizations, organizations with expertise in greenways and trails, and metro-area greenways and trails coalitions.
The grant recipients, grant amounts, and project descriptions are listed below.
FY 2003 RECREATIONAL TRAILS PROGRAM GRANTS
Ballard Nature Center Foundation (Effingham County), $25,600 for construction of a 50-foot long pedestrian bridge over Second Creek and the installation of 25 interpretive signs along a 1.25-mile self-guided nature trail at the nature center near Altamont. (Local contact: Roger Jansen, 217/342-6855).
Freeport Park District (Stephenson County), $68,000 for fine aggregate trail surfacing material on the most northerly 2.5 miles of the Jane Addams Trail, from the Village of Orangeville to the Illinois-Wisconsin state line. Funds will also be used to develop three trailhead/access areas along the 14.5-mile trail. The Jane Addams Trail, an equestrian/hiking/biking trail open for snowmobiling in season, is part of the Grand Illinois Trail. (Local contact: Steve Ehlbeck, 815/235-6114).
Little Egypt Off-Road Motorcycle Club (Williamson County), $188,400 to acquire two additional parcels of land totaling 320 acres immediately adjacent to the Little Egypt Public Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Area near Crab Orchard. The property will be developed with trails for all-terrain vehicles and off-highway motorcycles. (Local contact: Lance Martin, 618/252-2062).
McHenry County Conservation District, $304,000 to develop a 10-foot wide, 1.75-mile recreational trail that will connect the 26-mile McHenry County Prairie Trail with the 5-mile Hebron Trail near Richmond. This trail is part of the Grand Illinois Trail. Trail uses include snowmobiles, bicycles, hikers, cross-country skiers and equestrians. (Local contact: John Kremer, 815/338-6223).
The Morton Arboretum (DuPage County), $50,700 to develop a 0.36-mile asphalt path that will link the east and west side trails of the 1,700-acre site utilizing an existing walkway under Illinois Route 53 and the development of an interpretive trailhead. In 2001, the arboretum in Lisle had more than 215,000 visitors. (Local contact: Kris Bachtell, 630/719-2437).
Peoria Park District (Peoria County), $270,500 to develop a 3.2-mile hiking trail with interpretive signs, a restroom building and a picnic shelter. This is the first phase of a planned nine-mile long hiking trail. The trail traverses diverse habitats and elevation changes. Park district naturalists have identified 144 species of birds and 380 species of plants adjacent to the planned trail. (Local contact: Laura Ross, 630/879-2084).