Federal money available for local trail projects

Pierre, South Dakota (AP) 2-08

Money will be available this spring for local trail projects throughout the state, according to Doug Hofer, state parks director for the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Department.

The money is available to cities, counties, civic organizations and tribal governments through the federal Recreational Trails Program.

“Recreation trails are key elements to healthy communities,” Hofer said in a release. “They provide a safe corridor in which families can exercise together and enjoy some of our state’s most unique natural features. In more urban settings, these trails can also provide safe passage for people walking or biking to work and school.”

The program provides up to 80 percent reimbursement for approved trail projects, which can include building new trails, rehabilitating existing ones, and developing trail-related facilities and educational programs.

Hofer said projects were awarded to 10 local sponsors in 2007. The application deadline is set for late April.