ODNR and Butler County Dedicate 1.38-Mile Phase of the Port Union-Gilmore Ponds Historic Canal Trail

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$500,000 from the Clean Ohio Trails Fund supported the project

COLUMBUS, OH – The Ohio Department of Natural Resources and its local partners in Butler County dedicated phase two of the Port Union-Gilmore Ponds Historic Canal Trail today, as part of an ongoing celebration of the Clean Ohio Fund and its support of recreational trail construction statewide.

An award of $500,000 from the Clean Ohio Trails Fund helped build this portion of the trail, which is part of the Miami 2 Miami trail network. The network aims at connecting the Great Miami River Recreation Trail in Butler County and the Little Miami Scenic Trail in Warren County. The City of Fairfield, the Butler County Commissioners, Butler County Engineer’s Office and MetroParks of Butler County collaborated on the project.

“Our economic and social health calls for us to strengthen our connection to our natural world,” said ODNR Director Sean D. Logan. “The dedication of this trail represents a new way to connect to nature and is another great example of what can be accomplished when communities, businesses and conservationists work together toward a common goal.”

Phase one of the trail, totaling 1.55 miles, was constructed by West Chester Township with a $275,000 Clean Ohio Grant. That portion of the trail runs from Port Union Road along the historic Miami-Erie Canal to Firebird Lane. Phase two of the project, totaling 1.38 miles, extends the trail from Firebird Lane to the Gilmore Ponds Interpretive Preserve in Fairfield.

The Clean Ohio Fund, approved by voters in November 2000, is a $400 million bond program aimed at revitalizing blighted urban areas, protecting rivers and watersheds, preserving green space and farmland and expanding Ohio’s system of recreational trails.

More than 219 miles of recreational trails were constructed with $25 million allocated for that purpose under the original initiative. These trails improve quality of life and boost outdoor recreational opportunities for all Ohioans. Local governments, parks and joint recreation districts, conservancy districts, soil and water conservancy districts and non-profit organizations applied for the trail funds, agreeing to provide a 25 percent match. The local matches included contributions of land, labor or materials.

Recognizing the importance of this program, Governor Ted Strickland proposed renewal of the Clean Ohio Fund through the bi-partisan job stimulus package. The issue is expected to appear on the November ballot.

For Additional Information, Contact:
Jason Fallon, ODNR Marketing & Communications
(614) 265-6842
Jane Beathard, ODNR Media Relations
(614) 265-6860