"Wherever you go in the state, trails are packed," said Joel
Brunsvold, director of the Department of Natural Resources. "These
types of trails provide a safe place to have fun. Runners, walkers,
hikers and bicyclists can avoid traffic on the streets. … [Trails]
increase quality of life in communities as well, which attracts new
Funding for the grants is supported by the federal government's
Recreational Trails Program, which provides 80 percent of the
cost of the trail projects. Local sponsors provide the balance of
the funding for the projects. Grants may be awarded for the
acquisition of land from willing sellers; for trail construction and
rehabilitation; restoration of areas damaged by unauthorized trail
uses; construction of trail-related support facilities, such as
picnic areas, parking and restrooms; and educational programs. The
program is administered in Illinois by the Department of Natural
Resources in cooperation with the Illinois Department of
"These trails provide recreational opportunities year-round,"
Brunsvold said. "In the winter, cross-country skiers and
snowmobilers may use these same trails."
The projects were recommended for funding by the Illinois
Greenways and Trails Council, a panel that includes representatives
of statewide motorized and nonmotorized trail user organizations,
statewide agency organizations, organizations with expertise in
greenways and trails, and metro-area greenways and trails
Communities interested in applying for the next round of
recreational trails grants should contact the IDNR Division of Grant
Administration, One Natural Resources Way, Springfield, IL
62702-1271; phone (217) 782-7481. The annual application deadline is
This year's Recreational Trails Program grant recipients, grant
amounts and project descriptions are listed below.
2005 Recreational Trails Program grants
Adams County Mental Health and Retardation Association, Adams
County -- $228,000 to develop approximately 1.8 miles of trails,
most of which will be accessible to individuals in wheelchairs. The
project also includes a picnic shelter, a site access road and a
parking area within the 77-acre Camp Sacajawea, a public outdoor
recreation facility open to everyone. The camp is located three
miles south of Quincy on Ghost Hollow Road. Local contact: Barbara
Baker Chapin, (217) 223-0413.
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Galena Territory Association, Jo Daviess County
-- $192,860 to renovate six miles of a 22-mile public equestrian
wilderness trail system that is also open for hiking, mountain
biking and cross-country skiing. The project will improve the trails
by widening the trail corridor and by installing distance markers.
Sedimentation and erosion control will also be addressed by
installing culverts in creek beds and stream crossings. The trails
are located off U.S. Route 20 southeast of Galena. Local contact:
Madelynn Wilharm, (915) 777-2000.
Glen Carbon, Madison County -- $186,120 to develop a one-mile
public hiking and cross-country skiing trail with a surface of
limestone screenings. Much of the trail will be accessible to
wheelchair use. The trail will also include interpretive signs and
rest areas. The trail will be developed in Green Space North Park
with site access from North Main Street in Glen Carbon. Local
contact: Walter Blotevogel, (618) 656-4166.
Peoria Park District, Peoria County -- $177,600 to develop a
3.5-mile wood-chip hiking trail with a 0.3-mile hard surface for
wheelchair accessibility through the wooded bluffs of Robinson Park.
The project also includes the construction of several wooden
footbridges, boardwalks, trail benches, interpretive signs and
landscape restoration. Robinson Park is located north of Peoria on
Mossville Road. Local contact: Bonnie Noble, (309) 686-3352.
Shelbyville, Shelby County -- $75,200 to assist with the
re-establishment and improvements to an existing four-mile multiuse
trail. The trail was originally created in the 1970s as a year-round
trail, including snowmobiling, but it has since become overgrown and
mostly unusable. The finished trail will be 10 feet in width with a
limestone surface and have two-foot-wide shoulders. Local contact:
Jerry Yockey, (217) 774-4001.
South Elgin, Kane County -- $20,000 to renovate an existing
one-mile hiking and cross-country skiing trail through East Avenue
Park. The project also includes the construction of a footbridge,
construction of an observation deck at the edge of a pond, trail
benches and interpretive signs. The park is located on the east edge
of the village, along East Avenue. Local contact: Jim Reuter, (847)
Vienna, Johnson County -- $177,000 to construct a 90-foot-long
pedestrian and bicycle bridge over Little Cache Creek, a
0.2-mile-long trail connecting the city of Vienna with the Tunnel
Hill State Trail, a picnic shelter and a gravel parking lot. The
project also includes the donation of a parcel of land to the city
from the Vienna Civic Club. The site is located east of the city,
along Illinois Route 146. Local contact: Jody Johnson, (618)
Department of Natural Resources news release]