Thursday, March 20, 2008

Fayetteville Trails Program Gets Grant

Congratulations to Trails and Greenways Coordinator, Matt Mihalevich. The Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department announced the award of $33,600 to Fayetteville among the 26 most recent “Recreational Trails Program” projects funded under the federal Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act. It was the only grant awarded in Washington or Benton County.

Counties, universities, and non-profit groups are also eligible to apply for funding from the Arkansas Recreational Trails Program.
Sebastian County received $80,000; if Washington County applied, their proposal was not funded. Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia received $87,620 for their trails program; if the University of Arkansas applied, their proposal was not funded.

Washington County and the University of Arkansas should at least make an effort to apply for funding to build multiple use trails. The Fayetteville Natural Heritage Association could also apply for these funds to construct trails in the Mt. Sequoyah Woods and Brooks-Hummel Nature Preserve, and perhaps OMNI might apply for funding a boardwalk trail on the World Peace Wetland Prairie.

The next round of funding applications for FY 2008 are due at the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department, 10324 Interstate 30, Little Rock, AR 72209, no later than 3:30 p.m., Friday, May 2nd. Grants have ranged from $119,000 to $1,500, with the average being about $33,000. It's federal money, and it would be better spent on local trails than on that damn war.

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