On Wednesday, June 14th, the Healey-Driscoll Administration announced MassTrails Grant Funding for 68 trail improvement projects across the Commonwealth. The administration has allocated $11.6 million to support trail projects across the state. This funding will greatly contribute to the expansion and connectivity of Massachusetts' off-road, shared-use pathways and trails, promoting recreational activities, exercise, and environmentally friendly commuting.
Governor Maura Healey emphasized the significance of investing in the state's trails system, recognizing the direct relationship between outdoor recreation and economic prosperity. By providing opportunities for residents to engage in outdoor activities, commute sustainably, and experience Massachusetts' natural assets, the administration aims to simultaneously grow the economy, reduce emissions, and improve public health outcomes.
Lieutenant Governor Kim Driscoll highlighted the importance of the state's trail network in fostering connections between cities and towns. By working closely with public and private partners, the MassTrails Grant Program bridges communities and enhances accessibility to the state's abundant natural, cultural, and recreational resources. The program's collaborative approach ensures that residents and visitors can easily access and enjoy the many benefits of the trail system.
EEA Secretary Rebecca Tepper underscored the role of the MassTrails Grant Program in expanding the trails system, ultimately contributing to the reduction of transportation emissions. Recognizing the desire of residents to commute and explore their communities in a safe and accessible manner, the program facilitates collaboration and connection.
The MassTrails Grant Program, administered by the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), provides matching grants, technical assistance, and resources to various entities, including individuals, municipalities, and non-profits. This year's projects will have a significant impact on over 100 communities, fostering the development of new multi-use trails, expanding accessibility, connecting towns with existing trails, constructing boardwalks and bridges, improving signage, and acquiring land for trail purposes.
The announcement was made in Billerica, which received MassTrails funding for the Yankee Doodle Bike Path. The path is part of the MassTrails Priority Trails Network Vision and, once finished, it will serve as a crucial non-motorized transportation connection between the Minuteman Bikeway in Bedford and the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail in Lowell. Such initiatives highlight the administration's commitment to creating a comprehensive statewide trails network that caters to both recreational and transportation needs.
MassBike commends the Healey-Driscoll Administration for its continued support and investment in the MassTrails Grant Program. The commitment to building safe and equitable transportation networks aligns with the state's transit, economic, climate, and public health goals. The grants will continue to lay the foundation for a robust and interconnected trail system, which will greatly benefit bicyclists of all ages and abilities across Massachusetts.