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Monday, August 23, 2010

ODNR approves funding to expand trail projects

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources, which administers the Clean Ohio Trails Fund, has approved grant proposals for trail projects across the state that will help develop and revitalize communities.
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. It was a critical component of the 2008 Ohio Bipartisan Job Stimulus Plan.
An extension of the Clean Ohio Fund was overwhelmingly accepted at the ballot in 2008.
ODNR awarded 30 Clean Ohio Trails Fund grants for community projects that will build and maintain infrastructure that allows citizens to conveniently connect to nature.
These projects will complete regional trail systems and connects to statewide trails, link population centers with outdoor recreation areas and facilities, preserve natural corridors, and link urban areas to support commuter access and provide economic benefits.
The investments help facilitate travel, enhance educational opportunities and provide safe, scenic areas where Ohioans can hike, bike or run and build healthy lifestyles.
Grants totaling $8.29 million will support projects which improve outdoor recreational opportunities for Ohioans, which are expected to cost as much as $20.89 million.
This funding will be used to develop 35.82 miles of new trails, construct four bridges, 2.31 miles of bike lanes, and acquire more than 50 miles of abandon railroad and greenway corridors. Grant recipients will provide a 25 percent local match for their projects.
To date, the Clean Ohio Trail Fund has dedicated more than $39 million to provide thousands of Ohioans with better access to recreational opportunities through the creation of more than 263 miles of trails and the acquisition of 94 miles of abandoned railroad and greenway corridors.

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