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Governor Lamont Announces $9 Million in State Grants To Plan, Build, Expand, and Improve 50 Recreational Trails Across Connecticut

Grants Awarded Through DEEP’s Connecticut Recreational Trails Program

(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont and Energy and Environmental Protection Commissioner Katie Dykes today announced that approximately $9 million in state grants are being released through the Connecticut Recreational Trails Program to plan, build, expand, and improve a total of 50 multi-use trails across Connecticut.

The program is administered by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP). Funding for this grant round was allocated by the State Bond Commission in July 2022. Governor Lamont serves as chairman of the commission.

“I am thrilled to announce funding for these 50 projects, which will improve and expand recreational trail opportunities around Connecticut,” Governor Lamont said. “The incredible response to this grant round shows the high demand for outdoor recreation in our state. Our residents and visitors continue to explore state parks, forests, and municipal open spaces and land trust preserves at record levels.”

DEEP has seen demand for outdoor recreation increase dramatically since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020. Annual visits to locations in the Connecticut State Parks and Forests system reached an estimated 17 million in 2022 – a 75% increase from pre-pandemic visitation levels of between 9 and 10 million in 2019. Additionally, the economic value of hiking, climbing, and tent camping increased by 50% from 2019 to 2021. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the value of outdoor recreation in 2021 contributed nearly $4 billion to the state and supported more than 40,000 jobs.

“These projects are timely and will improve our state’s connectivity and accessibility to open space, which benefits our residents and visitors physically and mentally, enhances our state’s outdoor economy, and makes our state such an attractive place to live,” Commissioner Dykes said. “Investing in projects that support sustainable commuting opportunities, that reduce pollution from transportation, and provide safe, enjoyable alternatives to car travel are the type of projects we’d love to see in more communities across the state. My thanks to Governor Lamont and the State Bond Commission for supporting these important investments in our state-wide trail systems.”

A total of 28 of the awarded projects are within or serve Connecticut’s distressed municipalities and environmental justice communities, improving equitable access to outdoor recreation. Many of the awarded projects are bicycle paths that can support both commuting and recreation, including Naugatuck Greenway Projects in Naugatuck, Ansonia, Thomaston, Waterbury, and the Greenwich-Stamford multi-use path, among others. The grant money can be allocated for a wide variety of purposes, including planning, design, land acquisition, construction, construction administration, and publications for bikeways, walkways, and greenways, as well as for equipment and trail amenities, such as parking lots, toilet buildings, signs, and benches.

The Connecticut Greenways Council assisted DEEP with the competitive grant selection process. Funding for program administration of 5%, pursuant to state statutes, is also included in the grants. DEEP anticipates most of the awarded projects being completed by 2026.

The following is a list of projects receiving grants under this round:

Connecticut Recreational Trails Program
May 2023 Grant Round
ApplicantProject TitleProject TypeGrant Funding
Borough of NaugatuckNaugatuck River Greenway Trail – Phase IIPlanning/Design$352,800
Branford Land TrustBranford Land Trust Handicap Accessible Braille and Sensory TrailPlanning/Design$15,000
City of BristolBristol Recreational Trails Grant PlanningPlanning/Design$320,000
City of HartfordKeney Park Trail ConnectivityPlanning/Design, Outreach, Education$186,320
City of MeridenBrookside Park to Giuffrida Park Multi-Use TrailPlanning/Design$179,000
City of SheltonShelton Housatonic RiverwalkPlanning/Design$113,000
City of TorringtonRed Mountain Trail Design and Construction – Torrington, CTPlanning/Design, Construction, Amenities$396,100
City of WaterburyWaterbury Naugatuck River Greenway Trail Mad River Spur DesignPlanning/Design, Outreach$390,000
City of West HavenHubbard Park Interpretive TrailPlanning/Design, Construction$26,196
City of West HavenPlainfield Community Trailway ProjectPlanning/Design, Construction$32,020
Connecticut Forest and Park AssociationCT Forest and Park Association Public Engagement and StewardshipPlanning/Design, Construction, Maintenance, Education, Equipment, Outreach$445,412
Connecticut Resource Conservation and Development12 Town Airline State Park Trail Regional Association Formation & MarketingPlanning/Design, Amenities, Publications, Outreach$75,000
Friends of the Litchfield Community Greenways, Inc.Litchfield Greenway – Phase 4 – Bantam ConnectionPlanning/Design, Construction, Amenities$241,125
Goodwin UniversityGoodwin University Trails Expansion – Phase VIPlanning/Design Construction, Maintenance$123,204
Hop River Trail Alliance (Town of Coventry Fiduciary)Hop River State Park Trail Signage and WayfindingAmenities, Publications, Outreach$44,793
Newtown Bridle Lands Association Inc.Improving Multi Use Access to Newtown TrailsPlanning/Design, Construction, Maintenance, Amenities$44,080
Parks & Point with DEEP Outreach & EducationWords from the Trails: Poetry and Nonfiction Inspired by Connecticut’s Recreational TrailsEducation, Publication$13,840
Riverfront Recapture, Inc.Hartford and East Hartford Riverwalk Trail Counting InitiativeEquipment, Amenities$66,800
Shoreline Greenway TrailShoreline Greenway Trail Extension in Hammonasset State ParkPlanning/Design$120,000
Town of AnsoniaNaugatuck River Greenway (Ansonia Riverwalk)Planning/Design$272,000
Town of CantonExtension of Farmington River Rail Trail, East, Additional Design FundsPlanning/Design$60,000
Town of East HaddamLower Connecticut River Valley Heritage Trail/ Bike Path – East HaddamPlanning/Design, Outreach$32,000
Town of East HamptonAir Line Trail Gap Phase 4Planning/Design, Construction$404,800
Town of Greenwich (Stamford as Partner)Greenwich-Stamford Multi-Use PathPlanning/Design$270,400
Town of ManchesterHop River Trail Extension to Cheney TrailConstruction$440,000
Town of New HartfordNew Hartford Multi-Use Trail Phase 1Planning/Design, Construction$616,000
Town of NewingtonNewington Greenway ExpansionPlanning/Design$75,000
Town of NewtownAl’s Trail Greenway Feasibility StudyPlanning/Design$80,000
Town of Norfolk – Rails to TrailsProposed North Brook Trail SectionPlanning/Design, Construction$399,725
Town of Old LymeMulti-purpose Trail and Bridge at Lieutenant RiverPlanning/Design$28,500
Town of OxfordRockhouse Adaptive Trail NetworkPlanning/Design, Construction, Equipment, Amenities$278,500
Town of PlainfieldKate Downing Rd Open SpacePlanning/Design$10,000
Town of PrestonPoquetonuck Cove and Village Heritage TrailPlanning/Design, Construction$59,400
Town of PutnamAir Line Trail Connection and Improvements ProjectPlanning/Design, Construction, Maintenance, Publications, Outreach$175,000
Town of ThomastonNaugatuck River GreenwayPlanning/Design$150,000
Town of ThompsonThompson, CT – STILL More Than Just a Train WreckConstruction, Amenities$457,500
Town of WatertownNaugatuck River Greenway – Frost Bridge Rd. to Branch Brook, WatertownPlanning/Design$299,935
Town of WethersfieldHeritage Way Trail Improvements at Cove ParkPlanning$95,000
Town of WiltonNorwalk River Valley Trail – WII Walk ExtensionConstruction$243,000
Town of WinchesterMad River Recreation Area Phase 1Construction$60,000
Town of WolcottScovill (Mill Pond Way) Trail ImprovementsPlanning/Design, Construction, Maintenance, Equipment, Amenities$72,000
Trust for Public LandMono Pond State Park Master PlanPlanning/Design$76,725
University of ConnecticutUConn Connecticut Trails ProgramEducation, Outreach$392,724
Wyndham Land TrustParking for Bull Hill PreservePlanning/Design, Construction, Outreach$24,000
Mooween State ParkMooween Trail Parking LotConstruction$120,000
Harkness Memorial State ParkHarkness Boardwalk RenovationConstruction$16,000
George Waldo State ParkImprove Access to Housatonic RiverConstruction$23,090
Bennett’s Pond State ParkGreen Trail RestorationMaintenance$34,125
Kettletown State ParkBoardwalk ReplacementConstruction$16,000
Statewide Trail SystemsStatewide Trail Maintenance & MaterialsMaintenance, Equipment$120,000
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