ODNR and Madison County Celebrate Completion of Roberts Pass and The Prairie Grass Trail
$210,000 from Clean Ohio Trails Fund supported the projects
COLUMBUS, OH – The Ohio Department of Natural Resources and its local partners in Madison County celebrated the benefits of recreational trails completed through the Clean Ohio Fund at a ceremony today in London.
The festivities lauded the recently completed Roberts Pass and its companion trailway, the Prairie Grass Trail, which terminate in the city.
Grants totaling $210,000 from the Clean Ohio Trails Fund helped build these two trails, which are important segments of the growing Ohio To Erie Trail system. Various local governments matched this amount with $52,500.
“Our economic and social health calls for us to strengthen our connection to our natural world,” said ODNR Director Sean D. Logan. “The completion 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.”
Paving of Roberts Pass was completed last winter. The trail runs from Maple Street on London’s east side to Wilson Road in Fairfield Township. The Prairie Grass Trail runs west from London toward Clark County and an eventual juncture with the Little Miami Scenic Trail. Completion of these two trail segments allows cyclists, rollerbladers and hikers to travel unhindered from Wilson Road in Madison County to Avoca Park in suburban Cincinnati – a distance of nearly 100 miles.
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, 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.