Gov. Blagojevich Announces nearly $950,000 in Recreational Trail Grants

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Federal Recreational Trails Program projects in eight counties

SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced $949,800 in grants for multi-purpose recreational trail projects that will create or improve trails in eight Illinois counties. Funding for the projects is supported by the federal government’s Recreational Trails Program.

“These grants will increase recreation opportunities for people who love the outdoors – hikers, runners, bike riders, snowmobile riders, and boaters,” Gov. Blagojevich said.  “The recreational trail projects supported by these federal and local funds are good news for both residents and visitors to these communities.”

The Recreational Trails Program (RTP) provides 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 in cooperation with the Illinois Department of Transportation.

The grants for the projects announced today were recommended by the Illinois Greenways and Trails Council, which includes representatives of statewide motorized and non-motorized trail user organizations, statewide agency organizations, organizations with expertise in greenways and trails, and metro-area greenways and trails coalitions.

This year’s Recreational Trails Program grant recipients, grant amounts and project descriptions are listed below.

Des Plaines, City of (Cook County), $149,745 to construct approximately 1 mile of an equestrian/hiking trail.  This trail will connect to a segment of the Des Plaines River Trail, currently under construction, along the Des Plaines River (part of IDNR’s Levee 50 Flood Control Project).  (Local contact: Timothy Oakley, 847/391-5390).

Freeport Park District (Stephenson County), $104,000 to purchase a 165-horsepower tractor to groom the Jane Addams Trail and other public snowmobile trails within Stephenson County during the winter and to mow the shoulders of the Jane Addams Trail during warm weather months.  (Local contact: Steve Ehlbeck, 815/235-6114).

Freeport Park District (Stephenson County), $144,000 to acquire a 50-foot wide corridor, 3.18 miles long that will be developed with a 12-foot wide graded path for snowmobile use and a 12-foot wide asphalt path (with two-foot aggregate shoulders) for bicycling and walking.  This corridor will tie into the Jane Addams Trail.  (Local contact: Steve Ehlbeck, 815/235-6114). 

Glenview Park District (Cook County), $55,280 to construct 1.8 miles of limestone screenings nature trail with associated interpretive signs at the 123-acre Grove National Historic Landmark.  (Local contact: Steve Swanson, 847/299-6096).

Highland Park Park District (Lake County), $26,160 to design, fabricate and install 28 trail signs (interpretive, trail marker, trail head and site map) to be placed along the three miles of trails within the 97-acre Heller Nature Center.  (Local contact: Jeff Smith, 847/433-6901).

Kane County Forest Preserve District (Kane County), $192,960 to construct approximately 3.5 miles of equestrian/hiking trails, a shelter for horses and riders, and a primitive horse campground at Burnidge Forest Preserve.  (Local contact: Monica Meyers, 630/232-5980).

Openlands (Cook/DuPage/Will counties), $28,055 to design, fabricate and install approximately 330 various water trail signs along 40 miles of the DuPage River in DuPage and Will counties and along 20 miles of the Salt Creek in DuPage and Cook counties.  Signs will include directional signs for parking, launches/landings, portages, dams, and bridges; map signs; and, signs on bridges that face car traffic to raise public awareness of the water trail.  (Local contact: Laura Barghusen, 312/863-6253).

Shelbyville, City of (Shelby County), $200,000 to construct a one-mile extension of the General Dacey Trail, a snowmobile/bicycle/hiking trail.  As with the first two sections of this trail, this phase will be a 10-foot wide limestone screenings trail with two-foot shoulders.  The trail will be constructed on both City of Shelbyville and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ property.  (Local contact: Gary Crowder, 217/774-5531).

Yorkville, City of (Kendall County), $49,600 to construct approximately 3/4-mile of nature trail, an interpretive shelter and signs within the 7.5-acre Wheaton Woods Park.  (Local contact: David Mogle, 630/553-4341.nbsp;