Columbia, S.C. – The South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism (SCPRT) is pleased to announce that 11 projects from across the state were selected to receive grant funding through the federal Recreational Trails Program (RTP).
RTP is a federal-aid assistance program designed to help states provide and maintain recreational trails for both motorized and non-motorized recreational trail use. SCPRT administers the RTP under the approval of the Federal Highway Administration.
“We are thrilled to see nearly $1.2 million heading to South Carolina to support trail projects across the state,” said SCPRT Director Duane Parrish. “These dollars will go toward the creation of new trails, and the enhancement of existing trails, helping improve the quality of life for locals and helping attract more visitors – and the tourism dollars they bring – to these areas. Outdoor recreation has been booming since 2020, making it an excellent time to invest in these critical green spaces and recreation areas.”
The following 11 projects were selected this year from the pool of 35 applicants:
- Summerville Preserve, Town of Summerville
Project total: $563,717 | Grant total: $100,000
- Hamlin Trails, Town of Mount Pleasant
Project total: $290,870 | Grant total: $100,000
- Saluda River Pedestrian Bridge Project, City of West Columbia
Project total: $7,490,000 | Grant total: $100,000
- The Saluda River & Riverwalk Access Improvements, City of Columbia
Project total: $125,000 | Grant total: $100,000
- Green Crescent Trail - Gateway Park Connector, City of Clemson
Project total: $127,000 | Grant total: $100,000
- Gap Creek Passage, Palmetto Trail (Phase I), Palmetto Conservation Foundation
Project total: $250,000 | Grant total: $100,000
- A Better Balance: Bringing Mountain Biking Back to CNP, Conestee Nature Preserve
Project total: $93,000 | Grant total: $60,000
- Town-wide Trailhead Establishment, Town of Edisto Beach
Project total: $170,775 | Grant total: $100,000
- Gilder Creek Multi-Use Trail, City of Mauldin
Project total: $125,000 | Grant total: $66,000
- Wambaw Cycle Trail 2022 Enhancement Project, USDA Forest Service, Francis Marion National Forest
Project total: $62,500 | Grant total: $50,000
- The Sanctuary Phase 1, Jason Griffin Racing Foundation
Project total: $375,000 | Grant total: $300,000
Projects were evaluated in terms of their overall quality, need, public support, and planning process; whether adequate resources are available to execute the project; and whether resources are available to adequately manage, maintain and operate the project after completion. Priority is given to trail projects providing connections or extensions for trail systems that are at least 10 miles long and projects in low-income areas.
Recreational Trails Program grant information and eligibility criteria:
- Funding is provided on a cost-reimbursement basis. The grant recipient must pay 100% of the cost of an item before submitting a reimbursement request for 80% of eligible costs.
- Funds can be spent on both motorized and nonmotorized recreational trail projects. The project can include constructing new recreational trails, improving or maintaining existing trails, developing or improving trailhead or trailside facilities, and acquiring trail corridors.
- Eligible applicants include local, state, and federal governmental agencies, qualified private organizations, and registered nonprofits.
Mayors from the mountains, the midlands, and the coast weighed in about what this funding means to their communities:
- "We are ecstatic that we received funding through SCPRT for our gateway connector project. This is a critical connection for recreation and alternative transportation. The funding also demonstrates a collaborative effort between the City, Clemson University, the State PRT, and the Green Crescent Trail group. We look forward to our future amenity for the whole community." – Mayor Robert Halfacre, Clemson
- “We are grateful that the City of Columbia is receiving funds from the Recreational Trail Program to make the Saluda River more accessible to everyone. The river is one of our greatest assets in Columbia and increasing everyone’s ability to get in and out lets more people participate in the fun our city has to offer.” – Mayor Daniel Rickenmann, City of Columbia
- “Edisto Beach has seen record growth over the last decade with our Census population nearly tripling and our tourists market exploding. Being awarded this grant funding allows our Town to partner with the state to ensure these much needed recreational assets, which are cherished by our residents and visitors, are provided.” – Mayor Crawford Moore, Edisto Beach
Find additional award criteria and eligibility information for the Recreational Trails Program at scprt.com/recreation/recreation-grant-programs/recreational-trails-program. Learn more about SCPRT grant programs at scprt.com/grants.