COLUMBIA — Finger Lakes State Park has received $289,477 to build or improve trails for off-road vehicles.
The funds will be used for three trails in the park, located 11 miles north of downtown Columbia. The projects are administered by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources in conjunction with the Federal Highway Administration.
“This program is designed to find people who want to build trails and make improvements, but need a little help to get everything done,” said Bill Bryan, director of the department's division of state parks.
The grant will be divided among the projects this way:
- $62,824 for off-road vehicle trail repair and construction equipment.
- $99,906 for a new children's track and overflow parking.
- $126,747 for off-road vehicle loading docks and ramps, restrooms, equipment and storage areas for visitors.
“The projects we are doing at Finger Lakes are designed to improve the conditions of the park,” Bryan said.
The grant was based on recommendations from the Missouri Trails Advisory Board using a competitive scoring process and the suitability of the grant's provisions.
“For the applications that meet the criteria and score the highest, we fund until the money runs out,” Bryan said.
The grant requires at least a 20 percent match, adding about $58,000 to the total invested in recreational trail projects at Finger Lakes. Bryan said the match amount will come from the state park's budget fund. The total amount for these projects will be about $346,000.
The state park system will also benefit from $35,000 in grant money for a Missouri State Parks trail book. Bryan called it "a guidebook for hikers and bikers who are interested in finding places to hike and bike in Missouri state parks.”
Bryan said the grants are a boost for state parks such as Finger Lakes.
“It helps them get projects done that wouldn’t get done without the grant,” he said.