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ODNR helps communities hit the trails through new grant projects

Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Press Release

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) has named 12 recipients of the Recreational Trails Program (RPT) grant, including several cities, villages, metro parks and even Ohio’s national forest.

“We’re fortunate in Ohio to have so many beautiful, natural wonders to enjoy,” Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said. “These projects will help more people around the state get out on the trail and enjoy everything Ohio has to offer.”

ODNR teams up with the Federal Highway Administration for the Recreational Trails Program, which reimburses up to 80 percent of a project’s funding. Projects eligible for funding include creating and maintaining trails, improving trail access for people with disabilities, and offering educational opportunities regarding trail safety or the environment.

“We want to give people every opportunity to get out and enjoy the great outdoors,” ODNR Director Mary Mertz said. “This funding will go a long way in helping our local partners build new trails and improve their existing paths.”

The selected projects for Recreational Trails Program grants include:

• City of Toledo Ottawa 
—Jermain Park Loop Trail - $150,000
—To reconstruct two sections and reseal a section of the paved trail in the adjacent Ottawa and Jermain Parks.

• City of Westerville 
—Ohio-to-Erie Trail - $150,000
—To rebuild sections of the Ohio-to-Erie Trail with new thicker and provide additional preventative maintenance to extend the life of the trail beyond the 20-year standard.

• Metroparks of Butler County 
—Gilmore Wetland Boardwalks - $150,000
—To upgrade a key link in the Wetlands Trail Loop, replacing an outdated, narrow plastic "Floating walkway" with a fixed boardwalk.

• Great Parks of Hamilton County 
—Mitchell Memorial Forest Mountain Bike Trail - $68,000
—To improve the existing mountain bike trail including the addition of a quarter mile skills loop and the installation of a beginner's pump track.

• Village of Mogadore 
—Lions Community Park Trail - $150,000
—To renovate an existing gravel trail system by following the existing alignment and updating the trail to meet ADA standards and install a portion of new trail that will connect the loop trail to an existing parking area.

• Conneaut Township Park Commission (Ashtabula County) 
—Beach Boardwalk, Phase III - $73,200
—To replace and remove 1,365 linear feet of boardwalk decking that has been damaged by high-water levels on Lake Erie. The park will also raise the small steel bridge over the creek that runs into the lake to prevent sand from covering the bridge, making it more wheelchair accessible.

• Western Reserve Land Conservancy 
—Oberlin Preserve Trail Extension - $150,000
—To install 5,475 linear feet of new rail on the 63-acre Oberlin Preserve in the City of Oberlin. The site is a public preserve with restored native prairie habitat and forest habitat.

• Village of Arcanum 
—Ivester Park Trail - $150,000
—To create ADA-compliant trails to connect with existing trails.

• Village of North Lewisburg 
—North Lewisburg Trail - $63,143
—To lay asphalt over existing trail and parking lot.

• USDA Forest Service 
—Wayne National Forest, Athens Ranger District, Main Corridor - $200,000
—To assist with 35 miles of maintenance on sections of the "Main Corridor" trail network which connects northern trailheads at the Village of New Straitsville to southern railroads at Monday Creek and Dorr Run.

• USDA Forest Service 
—Wayne National Forest, Ironton Ranger District, Superior Trails OHV Trail Maintenance - $200,000
—To carry out maintenance activities on approximately 35 miles of OHV trail on the Ironton Ranger District of the Wayne National Forest. 

• USDA Forest Service 
—Wayne National Forest, Education Brochures - $5,000
—To purchase educational material, such as brochures, rack cards, and maps that contain safety and responsible land use messages.

ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at