OLYMPIA – The Recreation and Conservation Funding Board today announced grant awards worth more than $12.3 million to improve trails and boating facilities in 33 counties.
At its November meeting in Olympia, the board awarded grants to 90 projects under three recreation grant programs. The projects ranged from maintaining backcountry motorcycle trails to improving boat launches.
“Washington is known for its great outdoor opportunities,” said Val Ogden, chair of the Recreation and Conservation Funding Board. “But they don’t take care of themselves. These grants provide money to repair trails and fix boat launches and other facilities. With these grants, our outdoor resources will stay great place to recreate.”
Projects in the following counties were approved for funding. Click here for project details.
Asotin County............................. $347,000
Okanogan County..................... $186,117
This year, the Recreation and Conservation Funding Board received 157 applications requesting nearly $24 million in funding, about 57 percent more funding than was available. Evaluation teams made up of representatives of recreation interests and state and federal natural resource agencies reviewed grant applications this summer and fall. Evaluation committees considered each project’s needs, benefits and technical merits.
“The application process is very competitive,” Ogden said. “And that helps ensure the board is funding only the best projects.”
Grant applicants will contribute more than $5.5 million in matching funds and resources, making the total investment in Washington’s great outdoors nearly $18 million.
Funding was awarded in the following three grant programs.
- Boating Facilities Program: Paid for by a portion of the state gas tax, these grants fund projects that acquire, develop and renovate public boating facilities, including launching ramps, guest moorage and support facilities on both freshwater and saltwater.
- National Recreational Trails Program: Paid for by federal gas taxes, these grants fund the rehabilitation and maintenance of backcountry trails, as well as projects to educate trail users about protecting the environment and having a safe experience.
- Nonhighway and Off-Road Vehicle Activities program: Paid for by gas taxes and off-road vehicle fees, these grants fund projects to develop and manage recreation opportunities for cross-country skiing, hiking, horseback riding, mountain bicycling, hunting, fishing, sightseeing, motorcycling and riding off-road vehicles.
A summary of the grant programs and information about the Recreation and Conservation Funding Board is available online at www.rco.wa.gov.