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Gov. Rauner announces over $1 Million in Recreational Trail Grants

Governor Bruce Rauner today announced $1,019,200 in grant funding for multi-purpose recreational trail projects that will create or improve trails in six Illinois counties. Funding for the projects is supported by the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) Recreational Trails Program.


“Our trails showcase all the beauty Illinois has to offer,” Governor Rauner said. “Whether you’re enjoying them with family and friends or your pets it’s a great opportunity to explore our state. These grants will improve access to our trails across Illinois.”


The Recreational Trails Program (RTP) grants provide up to 80 percent of the cost of the trail projects.  RTP grants may be awarded for the acquisition of land from willing sellers, for trail construction and rehabilitation, restoration of areas damaged by unauthorized trail uses, construction of trail-related support facilities such as picnic areas, parking and restrooms, and for educational programs.


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


“These grants will help create and improve outdoor experiences for the people of Illinois.  Getting people to enjoy everything the state, and the Department of Natural Resources has to offer, is why working partnerships like this with the Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration are great,” said Wayne Rosenthal, director for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.


“We are pleased to partner with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources in this important effort to improve trails in Illinois,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn. “We are confident these grants will enhance the quality of life in our communities and make Illinois an even better place to live, work and play.”


The RTP grant projects are listed below.


Motorized Projects


Saline County – The Williams Hill Pass Association will receive $42,500 in grant money to be used for trail maintenance in Saline County.  It will allow for maintenance and restoration for the association’s 25-mile OHV system, as well as help upgrade trailhead facilities, security, and promotional programming.


McHenry County – The McHenry County Snowmobile Association will receive a grant of $37,600 to help purchase a tractor and snowmobile trail groomer in McHenry County.  The equipment will be used to help maintain public snowmobile trails.


McHenry County – The Wonder Lake Lakers/Sno-Bugs Snowmobile Club will receive a $24,800 grant to be used for a UTV update in McHenry County.  It will allow the club to replace a 1996 Kawasaki Mule with tracks, and it is to be used for trail inspections and maintenance.


Non-Motorized Projects


Winnebago County – The Rockford Park District will receive a grant of $200,000 to be used to build new trails and repair existing trails in Winnebago County.  It will also allow for improved amenities, trailheads, and signage.


Champaign County – The Village of St. Joseph will receive a grant of $198,300 to be used for the development of trail spur and trailhead to serve the Kickapoo Rail Trail.  It will allow for trail work, restrooms, and amenities.


Henry County – The City of Geneseo will receive $116,000 in grant money for the construction 2.2 miles of bike lanes in Henry County.   It will help with construction of 1.4 miles of bike lane augmented by a crossing signal, as well as .8 miles of bike boulevard connecting downtown Geneseo to the Hennepin Canal.


Champaign County – The Champaign County Forest Preserve District will receive $200,000 to assist with the construction of asphalting near the Kickapoo Rail Trail in Champaign County.  It will allow construction of 1/3-mile of asphalt section near the trail.


Tazewell County -The City of East Peoria will receive $200,000 for the Camp Street Trail in Tazewell County.  It will allow construction of 1000 ft. of bituminous surface on the Camp Street Trail for the second phase of four.