Local trails get money for upgrades

  • A $50,000 grant will help revive 37 miles of the Robert Frost Trail through Leverett, Sunderland, Montague and Wendell. STAFF FILE PHOTO

  • A $50,000 grant will help revive 37 miles of the Robert Frost Trail through Leverett, Sunderland, Montague and Wendell. STAFF FILE PHOTO

  • A $100,000 grant to the Franklin Regional Council of Governments and other Western Massachusetts planning agencies will be used to create maps for mountain biking trail networks through Berkshire, Franklin and Hampden counties. FRCOG will concentrate on Kenneth Dubuque Memorial State Forest in Hawley. STAFF FILE PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 7/3/2019 6:04:06 PM
Modified: 7/3/2019 6:03:56 PM

The state has awarded $5 million to 71 trail projects throughout the state, and that includes more than $250,000 for projects in 10 towns in Franklin County.

The grants will fund things like improving hiking trails, bikeways and shared-use paths throughout the county.

“Our administration is proud to prioritize the state trails system, which builds community pride, connects municipalities and improves quality of life throughout Massachusetts,” said Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito.

The Franklin County towns that received grants are Ashfield, Conway, Deerfield, Hawley, Leverett, Montague, Orange, Sunderland, Wendell and Whately.

Some towns received a grant collectively, like Leverett, Sunderland, Montague and Wendell through the Kestrel Land Trust for $50,000 for the revival of the Robert Frost Trail. The project seeks to upgrade and improve the 37 miles of the trail, which is located on publicly owned conservation land throughout those towns. Those towns expect to collectively match the grant with $44,620 of their own money.

The largest grant of $100,0000 went to the Franklin Regional Council of Governments in Greenfield and other planning agencies throughout Western Massachusetts to share. They will use the money, along with a match of $25,200, to create maps for the mountain biking trail networks throughout Berkshire, Franklin and Hampden counties. FRCOG will concentrate on Kenneth Dubuque Memorial State Forest in Hawley.

In Orange, Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust has received $13,490 to improve a trail at Dexter Park Innovation School. Mount Grace intends to match that grant with $3,953 of its own.

Conway, Deerfield, Whately and Ashfield received $61,520 through the Conway Snowmobile Club Inc., which will improve trail signs and equipment to keep the trails maintained. The club will match the grant with $15,380.

“This grant is going to improve our snowmobile trail signage for years to come,” said Adam Sokoloski, a member of the Conway Snowmobile Club.

Gov. Charlie Baker said the grants, funded by the Department of Conservation and Recreation’s capital budget and the state’s motor fuel excise tax for off-road vehicles, will aid in the improvement of the trails that received money and will assist in the creation of new sections and trails for the public to enjoy.

“The MassTrails grants serve as a great example of our administration’s dedication to ensuring that the commonwealth’s natural, cultural and recreational resources remain accessible for years to come,” Baker said.

The towns that received a grant will have to match their amount with a minimum of 20 percent in money or in-kind services for their projects. That could include labor, donations, equipment or other ways, according to the Department of Conservation and Recreation statement. This year’s total investment, with the matching funds, will total about $14 million.

The grants towns and cities received were based on project needs, but most ranged from $10,000 to $100,000, with high-priority projects receiving as much as $300,000.

Reach Anita Fritz at 413-772-0261, ext. 269 or afritz@recorder.com.




Greenfield Recorder

14 Hope Street
Greenfield, MA 01302-1367
Phone: (413) 772-0261
Fax: (413) 772-2906

 

Copyright © 2019 by Newspapers of Massachusetts, Inc.
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy