Stony Lonesome Park Manager Tyler Lindsey offers advice to a driver on how to make it up Donkey Punch, one of the park's hills. / Tribune file photo
MONTGOMERY – Gov. Kay Ivey this week awarded $3.3 million in grants to expand recreational trails in several communities across the state, according to a press release from Ivey's office.
In Cullman County, the Cullman City Utilities Board was awarded $193,092 to construct three trailheads along the 21-mile-long, multi-use trail at Duck River Reservoir. The Cullman County Commission was awarded $550,473 to construct a bathhouse and multiple wash stations at Stony Lonesome Off-Highway Vehicle Park near Bremen.
Statewide, the governor's office said the 18 grants will help improve or construct recreation venues in nine municipalities, numerous state parks, a university campus and several other trail systems.
“Outdoor trails lead to healthier minds and bodies, and they are a great investment in our state and communities,” Ivey said. “I welcome these new or improved trails, and I encourage everyone to visit one and experience the outdoors that Alabama offers.”
The grants were awarded from funds made available to the state from the Federal Highway Administration’s Recreational Trails Program. The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) administers the program in Alabama. Stony Lonesome, a 1,456-acre park, was built in part by funds from Recreational Trails Program grants.
“Gov. Ivey and I both applaud those elected officials, individuals and organizations who work so hard to improve recreation opportunities in their communities,” ADECA Director Kenneth Boswell said. “I am pleased that ADECA is a partner in this process to enhance recreation and make our communities better places to live.”
The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, which manages Alabama’s state parks, was awarded three grants totaling $564,400.
A $300,000 grant will help build a nature trail for low-powered, reduced-noise motorized vehicles like golf carts, at Lakepoint State Park in Eufaula. A $64,400 grant will enable the department to build a diverse-use trail at Joe Wheeler State Park near Rogersville.
The department will use a $200,000 grant to buy trail maintenance and construction equipment for the building and upkeep of trails throughout the state parks system.
Below is a description of other grants, listed geographically from north to south, awarded by Ivey:
Limestone County Commission – $128,800 to upgrade the 10.8-mile-long Richard Martin Trail including repairing two bridges, installing two interpretive signs, controlling erosion and completing a trail assessment study. The trail extends from just north of Athens to the Tennessee state line.
Athens – $200,000 for a 1,200-foot-long extension of Swan Creek Greenway, purchasing one acre and constructing a new trailhead at the newly acquired property.
Decatur- $199,985 to construct an 825-foot-long, 8-foot-wide multi-use trail along Wilson Street. The trail, which will also be an extension of the Dr. Bill Sims Bike Trail, connects Rhodes Ferry Park and Ingall’s Harbor Pavilion.
Shelby County Commission- $200,000 to construct a trailhead and a five-mile-long, multi-use trail at Cahaba River Park.
Childersburg – $200,000 to expand the Kymulga Grist Mill park property with an additional 160 acres, construct seven miles of multi-use trails, install a trailhead and pave the parking area.
Cahaba Medical Foundation (Centreville) – $120,000 to renovate and expand the Centreville Riverwalk and construct a scenic overlook and access for kayaks/canoes to promote increased recreation traffic along the Cahaba River.
Tallapoosa County Commission – $200,000 to resurface a quarter-mile-long, multi-use track at Dadeville High School.
Lanett – $41,840 to construct about a half-mile walking trail at Lanett Central Park with security lighting, signage and landscaping.
Troy University (Troy) – $200,000 to build a 1,200-foot-long trail along McKinley Drive and an 800-foot-long trail along Luther Street adjacent to Janice Hawkins Cultural Arts Park.
Pine Hill – $49,084 to resurface the existing walking trail and add new lights at the city park.
Thomasville – $60,984 to construct a 10-foot-wide, 1,200-foot-long walking trail at Thomasville Community Playground.
Mobile County Commission – $182,160 to construct a 10-foot-wide, three-quarter-mile paved multi-use trail at Chickasabogue Park. Trailside benches will be added.
Orange Beach – $116,532 to construct a .65-mile trail to connect the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail to the Orange Beach Sportsplex. The connecting trail will loop around a lake and a natural area.
ADECA manages a wide range of grants and programs that support law enforcement, economic development, workforce development, recreation, energy conservation and water resource management.