Rails-to-Trails Conservancy awards $ 7,000 to Union Grove Rails to Trails | Local News

The Times Journal staff

UNION GROVE – Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, an organization that calls itself the nation’s largest trail advocacy group, on Wednesday announced $ 35,000 in awards to six organizations in Southeastern Wisconsin, including Union Grove Rails to Trails, working along the trail system. regional Route of the Badger.

The Union Grove organization received $ 7,000 and is one of 45 projects in 15 states and the District of Columbia that received combined funding of $ 308,500 from RTC to support community efforts to connect more people to the trails. their neighborhoods.

RTC’s regional grants will help organizations in Racine and Milwaukee counties meet the needs of their communities and provide access to trails and the outdoors, according to a press release from the RTC.

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Larissa Gallagher, president of Union Grove Rails to Trails, said in a statement that with the $ 7,000 grant from RTC, her organization will be able to organize public discussions between residents of Racine County and representatives. of the government.

“This trail extension will connect eastern and western Racine County and will serve as a conduit for communities to connect, which is not currently available,” Gallagher said in a statement. “The health, safety and economic benefits that the completed trail will provide will be enjoyed by our residents and visitors for many years to come. “

RTC’s Trail Grant program emphasizes investments that support regional and community trail development goals – often providing funding for small-scale and small-scale projects that can be difficult to fund in within the framework of traditional funding streams.

“At RTC, we believe trails have the power to transform communities and create happy and vibrant, equitable and inclusive public spaces,” said Liz Thorstensen, RTC’s vice president of trail development, in a statement. “These grants are an intentional investment in partners and people working on the ground – in their neighborhoods and in their states – to establish the programming and infrastructure necessary to invite everyone in a community to enjoy their trails. Our partners are paving the way for a future where trails connect everyone, everywhere.

This round of RTC Trail Grants has prioritized investments in RTC flagship initiatives, including RTC’s TrailNation initiative, which is designed to establish model trail networks across the country.

When the region’s TrailNation project is completed, the 700-mile Route of the Badger trail system will connect rural and urban communities in Southeastern Wisconsin – in Racine and Milwaukee counties, as well as in Kenosha, Walworth , Waukesha, Washington and Ozaukee. The Route of the Badger trail system aims to connect people of all ages with equitable access to jobs, communities, schools, parks and local attractions.

“We see this project as a catalytic part of our efforts to revitalize Milwaukee’s 30th Street Corridor,” said Cheryl Blue, executive director of 30th Street Industrial Corridor Corp. of this city, in a press release. “While this will bring enormous social and health benefits to residents, we are committed to equitably redeveloping the corridor so that the economic impact also benefits Black Milwaukee.”

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