Great news for bike advocates to kick off Labor Day weekend: Governor Deal has just announced that Georgia will not “opt out” of its allotted Recreational Trails Program funds. RTP is one of the few pots of money set aside for paved and un-paved bike paths in the state. See the links below for details on applying for an RTP grant for a bike trail in your community!
Official announcement via press release from the Department of Natural Resources:
Governor Deal continues participation in Recreational Trails Program
ATLANTA, August 31, 2012 — Governor Nathan Deal today announced his intentions to continue state participation in the Recreational Trails Program, a matching grant program funded through the Federal Highway Trust Fund to support the creation and maintenance of trails in Georgia’s local communities.
“In every region of Georgia, recreational trails attract tourism, enhance recreation opportunities, and improve public health, while also promoting job creation, effective partnerships, and successful service projects,” said Deal.
Since the program was first created in 1991, Georgia’s Recreational Trails Program has funded over 240 projects with over $17 million in grants to local communities to support both motorized and non-motorized trails in Georgia, such as water trails, cycling trails and horse trails. Local communities that apply for the grants are required to provide a match of at least 20 percent of the project costs. Most of the projects’ construction work is done by volunteers and small businesses.
The Recreational Trails Program is funded through non-highway motor fuel taxes and is administered by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. The recently passed MAP-21 transportation bill included a new provision that makes explicit a method whereby a governor can opt out of the program.
The current funding cycle begins in October and seeks to award nearly $2 million in trail grants to local communities in Georgia. Interested communities may visit www.gastateparks.org/grants for more information.
Kim Hatcher, Public Affairs Coordinator
Georgia Department of Natural Resources
404-657-9855 | firstname.lastname@example.org