Gov. Rauner Announces $1.5M in Recreational Trails Program Grants

City of Aurora to receive $140,000

Gov. Bruce Rauner last week announced nearly $1.6 million dollars has been awarded for recreational trail development projects in 11 Illinois communities, helping them meet the growing demand for improved trails and outdoor recreation facilities.

“These projects will help provide safe places for children and families, hikers, bike riders and horseback riders to enjoy the outdoors,” Rauner said.

Funding for the grants is supported by the federal government’s Recreational Trails Program (RTP), which provides up to 80 percent reimbursement to local grant recipients for the cost of the trail projects.  Grant recipients provide the balance of the funding for the projects.

The RTP grant program in Illinois is administered by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) in cooperation with the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT).

“We are pleased to partner with the local government sponsors of these trail construction, improvement, and maintenance projects that will benefit trail users in communities throughout the state,” said IDNR Director Wayne Rosenthal.

“These projects are going to add to the state’s impressive collection of trails and strengthen multimodal connections in several of our great communities,” said IDOT Secretary Randy Blankenhorn. “Not only will they improve transportation, but they will also enhance the quality of life for residents and families.”
Grants may be awarded for the acquisition of land from willing sellers, trail construction and rehabilitation, purchase of equipment for trail development and maintenance, restoration of areas damaged by unauthorized trail use, construction of trail-related support facilities (such as parking and restrooms), and educational programs.

The projects were recommended for funding by the Illinois Greenways and Trails Council, composed of representatives of statewide motorized and nonmotorized trail user organizations, statewide agency organizations, organizations involved in greenways and trails, and metro-area greenways and trails coalitions.

The City of Aurora will receive $140,000 for replacement of a crumbling concrete staircase which connects the south end of the East Branch of the Fox River Trail with New York Street in downtown Aurora. The Fox River Trail extends nearly 60 miles from Oswego north to near the Wisconsin border. The city will install a metal stairway to replace the concrete steps.

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