DEEP Announces $400,000 in Trails Grants

Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) announced today that it has awarded $400,000 in grants for seven projects to plan and design, build, expand, or enhance and improve multi-use trails and greenways across the state.

“Through our Recreational Trails program we are providing funds that will provide safe recreational opportunities for families and friends to travel throughout the state. Whether biking or walking any time of year or snowshoeing and cross-country skiing in the winter, Connecticut offers attractive year-round opportunities for people of all ages,” said DEEP Commissioner Robert Klee. “We applaud Governor Malloy and members of the General Assembly for making these funds available and allowing us to continue improving and connecting the many tremendous trail and greenway networks in our state.”

DEEP expanded the scope of its Recreational Trails Program under terms of Public Act 15-190, which allowed the agency to provide funding for a full range of multi-use trails and greenways projects. This legislation also expanded eligibility for grants so that non-profit organizations are able to receive funds under this program.

Following state Bond Commission authorization of funds last spring, DEEP’s Recreational Trails Program distributed $5.8 million in trails grants. The $400,000 in grants awarded today were made possible from these same funds as a result of projects that were either under budget or that did not come to fruition.

The Connecticut Greenways Council is serving as an advisory committee for grant selection and recently met to select the second round of grant recipients under the newly constituted program.

Funds received through this program may be used for locally supported trails and trail systems, bikeways and multiuse paths. Grant money can be allocated for a wide variety of purposes, including planning, design, land acquisition, construction, construction administration, and publications for bikeways, walkways, and greenways as well as for equipment and trail amenities, such as parking lots, toilet buildings, signs, and benches.

DEEP envisions most projects being completed by spring 2018.