Bentley awards grants for Lee County trail improvements
October 2, 2012
Two grants totaling $120,000 awarded by Gov. Robert Bentley will benefit bikers, birders and other outdoor enthusiasts in Lee County.
Bentley awarded a $100,000 grant for the construction and renovation of 26 miles of multi-use trails at Chewacla State Park in Auburn. A $20,000 grant will assist the city of Opelika in developing a trail in a nature park that includes a duck preserve and is part of the state’s Birding Trail.
“Our trails serve as an invitation for Alabamians to venture out and enjoy the outdoors,” Bentley said. “These two diverse trails offer something for everyone ranging from experienced bicyclists looking for a challenge to the casual walker who wants to view nature.”
The Central Alabama Mountain Pedalers will provide volunteer labor to rehabilitate 16 miles of existing trail at the state park and will construct 10 miles of new trail. CAMP will enhance accessibility in low areas by constructing boardwalks. The 60-member organization, established to promote mountain biking, also will build changing rooms and a bicycle wash station and trail signage.
CAMP members say the improvements will increase park visitation and the new trails could help bring national and regional mountain biking sporting events to the park.
Opelika will use its grant to build a quarter-mile-long trail and trailhead pavilion as part of the first phase of Siddique Nature Park near U.S. Highway 280. The park is adjacent to a nature preserve.
The project began as a partnership between Opelika and the Friends of the Opelika Wood Duck Heritage Preserve, a non-profit group whose mission is provide habitat for wildlife. Auburn University is providing consultation for the nature park which is listed as a bird-watching location in Alabama.
Bentley notified CAMP President Mack Story and Opelika Mayor Gary Fuller that the grants had been approved.
The grants were awarded from funds made available to state from the Federal Highway Administration’s Recreational Trails Program. The grants are administered by the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs.
ADECA manages a wide range of grants and programs that support law enforcement, economic development, workforce development, recreation, energy conservation and water resource management.