The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) recently announced the grant recipients for the Clean Ohio Trails Fund, NatureWorks and Recreational Trails Program. ODNR has approved more than $11 million in funding to benefit local Ohio communities statewide.
“These three grant programs allow ODNR to invest in Ohioans and improve the quality of life by encouraging people to spend time outdoors here in the Buckeye State,” said ODNR Director James Zehringer. “Whether that involves adding more trails, building shelters and playgrounds or improving restrooms, our focus is to keep moving forward with better facilities so Ohioans will have even more reasons to spend time outdoors.”
Clean Ohio Trails Fund: ODNR has approved $6.1 million in Clean Ohio Trails Fund grants in this 10th round of funding to be awarded through the program. ODNR has awarded 19 Clean Ohio Trails Fund grants for community projects that will build and maintain infrastructure allowing citizens to conveniently connect with nature. The projects will complete regional trail systems and links to statewide trails, link population centers with outdoor recreation areas and facilities, preserve natural corridors and connect urban areas to support commuter access.
Administered by ODNR, the Clean Ohio Trails Fund is one of four components of the Clean Ohio Fund, which restores, protects and connects Ohio’s natural and urban places. Ohioans approved the establishment of the $400 million bond program in 2000. Grant recipients will provide a 25 percent local match for their projects.
NatureWorks: ODNR has approved 98 NatureWorks state grants totaling nearly $4 million to help develop and improve public access for outdoor recreation facilities across Ohio. This 22nd round of the ODNR NatureWorks grant program will provide funding in 71 Ohio counties for community-based projects to create and renovate parks and outdoor recreation areas. The grants will support the acquisition of approximately 73 acres of green space and the development or improvement of 24 playgrounds, 16 park restrooms, 14 shelters/gazebos, 13 ballfields and play courts, 12 trails and five spray-splash pads and pool components.
NatureWorks provides up to 75 percent reimbursement assistance to local government subdivisions (i.e., 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 Ohio voters in November 1993. Additional legislation authorized the creation of the NatureWorks Grant Program.
Recreational Trails Program: ODNR announced that 14 recreational trails in Ohio have been selected to receive more than $1.56 million in federal funds through the Recreational Trails Program (RTP). More than 200 local trail projects across Ohio have received more than $26.5 million in federal funds through ODNR since RTP began in 1993.
ODNR administers federal RTP grants for the development and improvement of non-motorized and motorized trails. RTP is a reimbursement grant program that provides up to 80 percent of a project’s funding. This funding goes to projects that create and maintain trails and trail support facilities, improve access for people with disabilities and provide education about trail safety and the environment. Funding for RTP comes from the U.S. Federal Highway Administration via a portion of the federal motor fuel excise tax collected from non-highway recreational fuel use.
To see which local Ohio communities will receive grant funding, go to realestate.ohiodnr.gov/outdoor-recreation-facility-grants.
ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at ohiodnr.gov.