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Rails-to-Trails program awards over $100k in trail grants

Published June 2, 2017
Doppelt Fund grants are designed to fill financial gaps.

WASHINGTON (BRAIN) — Rails-to-Trails Conservancy has awarded over $100,000 in grants through its Doppelt Family Trail Development Fund, which supports small, regional projects that are vital to trail systems but often fall through the cracks of traditional funding streams.

RTC received over $5 million in application requests for the 2017 grant cycle, a number that has increased by nearly $1 million in the past year.

"Every week, I hear from dozens of organizations that manage trails — all with common challenges when it comes to funding small projects that address specific maintenance or trail development needs," said Eli Griffen, RTC's manager of trail development resources and the manager of the Doppelt Fund grant program. "This year's grants offer critical investment in projects that will close important gaps in trail systems, measure the economic impact of trails and support specific maintenance needs."

The 2017 Doppelt Fund grants were awarded in support of six projects, totaling $102,500. Recipients include:

  • The City of Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Services Department (Colo.), receiving $35,000 to complete Phase 1 of the Legacy Loop, a comprehensive multi-use trail project that will improve connectivity and accessibility for over 120,000 families living within two miles of the project in Colorado Springs.
  • Tillamook Forest Heritage Trust (Ore.), receiving $30,000 to support analysis of the social-economic benefits associated with the 86-mile Salmonberry Trail.
  • Wyoming Pathways (Idaho, Mont., Wyo.), receiving $20,000 to support the opening of the Greater Yellowstone Trail, a 180-mile pathway and rail-trail route that connects Jackson Hole, Wyoming, to West Yellowstone, Montana, via small towns in eastern Idaho.
  • National Road Heritage Corridor (Pa.), receiving $7,500 for the construction of the Marion segment of the Sheepskin Trail, which will close an existing gap in the Industrial Heartland Trails Coalition's Parkersburg-to-Pittsburgh corridor.
  • Detroit Greenways Coalition (Mich.), receiving $5,000 to support the Inner Circle Greenway in Highland Park, the largest urban trail project in the state of Michigan.
  • Cowboy Trail West, Inc. (Neb.), receiving $5,000 to support a 15-mile expansion of the Cowboy Trail from Gordon, Nebraska, to Rushville, Nebraska.

"We are lucky to have the capacity to invest in a handful of these projects through the Doppelt Fund, but the growing need far exceeds the funding available. These projects are vital to the health of local and regional trail systems," said Jeff Doppelt, a philanthropist from Great Neck, New York.

The Doppelt Family Trail Development Fund was established in 2015. A listing of all Doppelt Fund grant recipients can be found on RTC's website.

Topics associated with this article: Advocacy/Non-profits

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