Fehr Graham helps two park districts secure grant funding for recreational trails

Fehr Graham, a leading engineering and environmental firm, has secured $200,000 each for two park districts to enhance recreational trails through the federal Recreational Trails Program administered by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

The state awarded the Freeport Park District $200,000 to improve the Jane Addams Trail, which will include three significant projects: rehabilitating the J-8 bride and the J-10 bridge and replacing the J-13 bridge with two culvert pipes. The Jane Addams Trail, a heavily used route in the region, is of high priority for maintenance. Failing to address the bridges would mean closing them to vehicle traffic and snowmobile trail groomer. The bridges pose a threat to the safety and well-being of trail users, emphasizing the need for repairs.

The state awarded the Decatur Park District $200,000 to improve the Scovill Park West Trails. Plans include repaving approximately 8,750 linear feet of perimeter trails at the former Scovill Golf Course. Improvements will span multiuse paths, catering to walking, hiking, biking, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Rehabilitating these trails, situated at the former golf course, holds significance for the Decatur and Macon County communities, given the heavy usage of the district's trail systems.

Fehr Graham plays an important role in securing financial support for its clients by identifying and applying for loans and grants to fund projects. Notably, the Freeport and Decatur park districts, longstanding clients of Fehr Graham, have benefited from working with the firm's funding specialists. Fehr Graham funding experts work closely with municipalities and organizations to prepare and submit applications to ensure funding for diverse initiatives.

More than $3.7 million was allocated for recreational trail development projects in 19 Illinois communities to help meet the growing demand for improved trails and outdoor recreation, Gov. JB Pritzker and the Illinois DNR announced in a news release.

Trail development projects contribute to safer transportation and improved recreation opportunities across Illinois. This grant program helps us maintain these indispensable spaces for bike riders, hikers, joggers and families to enjoy our state’s natural beauty."

JB Pritzker, Governor

The program offers a reimbursement of up to 80% to local grant recipients for trail projects, with local sponsors providing the rest. Grants can cover land acquisition, trail construction and rehabilitation, equipment purchases for trail development and maintenance, restorage of damaged areas, construction of trail-related support facilities like parking and restrooms and educational programs.

"These projects will help provide safe places for children and families, hikers, bike riders, and horseback riders to enjoy the outdoors," said Natalie Phelps Finnie, Director of the Illinois DNR. "Illinois DNR is pleased to partner with local governments to construct, improve and maintain trails that benefit communities throughout Illinois."

See all grant recipients and read the full news release here