Gov. Eric J. Holcomb and Indiana Department of Natural Resources Director Dan Bortner today announced 38 communities and non-profit organizations will receive a combined $65 million for 77 miles of new trail development as a part of the third round of the Next Level Trails program. With matching funds from applicants, this round is expected to generate total investment of more than $102 million.
Three sections of the Nickel Plate Trail in Indianapolis, Fishers, and Noblesville were selected, as well as local projects in Huntington, Jasper, Middlebury, and Shelbyville.
“Trails connect communities together in such a personal way and are perfect pathways to good mental and physical well-being,” Gov. Holcomb said. “These continued quality-of-life investments will reap generational economic and tourism development dividends and further showcase Indiana’s incredible outdoor experiences.”
A $150 million grant program, Next Level Trails is the largest infusion of trails funding in state history. In rounds one and two, a total of $55 million was awarded to 35 communities. To date, $120 million has been awarded to build 190 miles of trails throughout Indiana. Ninety-four percent of Hoosiers live within five miles of a trail.
“The DNR listens to the recreational and outdoor needs of Hoosiers,” Bortner said. “We are excited to expand our partnerships with local governments and non-profits to bring these important connections and amenities to communities across Indiana.”
The grants awarded in the third round include 17 regional projects and 21 local projects. The third-round grant recipients are contributing $37.4 million in matching value, resulting in a $102.4 million total investment in trails. The program requires a minimum 20 percent project match, which can include monetary contributions, land value, and in-kind donations of materials and labor.