UPPER CUMBERLAND – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam recently announced grants totaling $300,000 for improvements to state parks in Jackson and Van Buren counties. These grants were part of the Recreational Trails Program (RTP), a federally-funded program for diverse recreation trail projects.
Cummins Falls State Park was awarded $200,000 to be used for construction of an overlook over the existing observation points and ADA compliance.
Fall Creek Falls was awarded $100,000 for the resurfacing of the Lake Trail along the lakefront and to expand and pave the parking area on the end of the trail adjacent to the dam. An ADA parking space will also be added to this parking area.
“Easy access to parks, trails, walking paths and other recreational facilities can make a good community a great community,” said Haslam. “These grants provide the resources needed to help make Tennessee an even more desirable place to live, work and raise a family.”
The RTP is a federally-funded program established to distribute funding for diverse recreation trail projects. The funds are available to federal, state and local government agencies, as well as nonprofit organizations that have obtained IRS 501(c)(3) status and have a written trail management agreement with the agency that owns the property where the trail project is located.
RTP grants may be used for non-routine maintenance and restoration of existing trails, development and rehabilitation, trailside or trailhead facilities such as restrooms, kiosks and parking lots, construction of new trails and land acquisition for recreational trails or corridors. Grant recipients were selected through a scoring process with careful consideration given to the projects that met the selection criteria and expressed the greatest local recreation need.
Funding for RTP grants is provided by the Federal Highway Administration through the Fixing Americans Surface Transportation (FAST) Act. The maximum federal share for each project is 80 percent, with RTP grant recipients providing a 20 percent match. No local funds will be used as matching funds. The matching funds for these projects will be from Tennessee state parks’ sources.