The trails association took two of the top three scores of 77 projects competing statewide for funding in the Recreational Trails Program, a grant program that funds projects to maintain backcountry trails. The trails association's projects scored number one and number three.
The funding board awarded $75,000 to the trails association for its top scoring project to maintain more than 80 trails across the state, in locations ranging from the north Cascade Mountains and Okanogan Highlands to the southern Washington coast and Columbia River Gorge. The association’s focus will be on trails that provide outstanding day hikes and family friendly outings. Crews will remove downed trees, trim overgrown bushes, and repair trail surfaces and drainage structures. The association will contribute $316,250 in donations of cash and labor.
The funding board awarded another $75,000 to the trail association's project to maintain backcountry hiking and equestrian trails. Crews will reconstruct turnpikes, remove downed trees, and fix drainage structures. The grant will pay for more than 60 backcountry trail teams who will maintain 50 trails, totaling more than 100 miles, using more than 13,000 hours of donated labor. Work will be done in Washington’s five national forests, three national parks, and state parks. The association will contribute $245,800 in donations of cash and labor.
Kaleen Cottingham, director of the Recreation and Conservation Office, which administers the grants, presented a check representing the funding available for these projects at the trail association's March 16 meeting.