Outdoor Funding gets a BIG boost

Governor Lamont convened the Bond Commission in July to approve unprecedented levels of funding for trails, open space, and State Park infrastructure.

The following investments were included on the July, 2022 Bond Commission Agenda which passed:

  • $9 million to support recreational trails and greenways projects statewide,
  • $10 million for land trusts, municipalities, and water companies to acquire open space, and
  • $15 million for State Park infrastructure (part of an overall commitment of $51.5 million approved in the FY 2022-23 state budget).   

The investment in recreational trails was the largest ever. This was in part prompted by the overwhelming response to the request for proposals issued by DEEP in Fall, 2021. Although there was only $3 million available, DEEP received 65 project proposals requesting ~$22 million.

“We are thankful for the Governor’s support for these critical programs! Clearly, there is enormous public desire to get outdoors to use trails, and to visit State Parks, Forests, land trust properties, and other outdoor recreation areas. We expect the public interest in the outdoors to continue, and hope the Governor’s excellent support will continue as well!”

Eric Hammerling

Executive Director, CFPA

According to the CT Trail Census at UConn, DEEP’s visitor counts at State Parks, and numerous experiential accounts, trail use is up dramatically in Connecticut and has sustained high levels of usage since the height of the pandemic.

$9 million for the Recreational Trails & Greenways Program enables Connecticut to continue its legacy as a leading investor supporting activities on over 2,000 miles of trails statewide.

Specifically, the Recreational Trails & Greenways Program gives matching grants that support projects such as:

  • Planning, design, and construction of new trails.
  • Maintenance, restoration, and extension of existing trails.
  • Access to trails by persons with disabilities.
  • Procurement of trail construction and maintenance equipment.
  • Acquisition of land or easements for a trail, or for trail corridors.
  • Education programs and tools to promote trail-related safety and environmental protection.

Questions? Email Eric Hammerling, Executive Director, at ehammerling@ctwoodlands.org.