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SPEEDWAY,Ind. – Gov. Eric J. Holcomb and Indiana Department of Natural ResourcesDirector Cameron Clark today announced 17 communities and non-profitorganizations will receive $24.9 million for 42 miles of new trail developmentas a part of the initial round of the Next Level Trails program.

“These17 projects are a tremendous investment in quality of life for Hoosiers astrails create important connections within and between communities across ourstate,” Gov. Holcomb said. “Our growing network of trails is more than a recreationaland transportation amenity – it’s an important tool for economic development byhelping Indiana attract and retain the best workforce in the country.”

Gov.Holcomb made the announcement at Speedway Indoor Karting, next to the B&OTrail, with Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett, Town of Speedway manager JacobBlasdel and other leaders. The Speedway Trail Association will receive a grantof nearly $4.9 million to acquire and develop 2.6 miles of new trail. The newtrail will connect residential and commercial districts in Speedway andIndianapolis’ west side by extending the existing trail 1.7 miles east toMichigan Street and 0.9 miles west toward Girls School Road.

NextLevel Trails is the largest infusion of trails funding in state history. The $90million grant program is divided into two components: a $70 million fund forregional projects and a $20 million fund for local projects. A total of $25million was available for the first round, including $20 million for regionalprojects and $5 million for local projects.

Thegrants awarded in the first round include 10 regional projects and seven localprojects from across the state. The list of awards, project descriptions, and amap can be found here.

DNRreceived applications for 82 projects located in 42 counties, requesting atotal of nearly $144 million in funding for more than 240 proposed miles ofhiking, biking and riding trails. DNR reviewed the applications for eligibility,and a multi-agency committee evaluated the proposals based on the NextLevel Trails program objectives.

Inaddition to the $24.9 million awarded through Next Level Trails, the 17 grantrecipients contributed $12.5 million in matching value, resulting in $37.4million total investment for trails. The program requires a minimum 20 percentproject match, which can include monetary contributions, land value, andin-kind donations of materials and labor.

“Theadditional leverage provided by community partners above and beyond the programmatch requirement speaks to the local support these projects enjoy and helps tostretch these dollars for more miles of trail,” said DNR director CameronClark. “It’s exciting to see local governments, non-profits, philanthropy, andthe business community work together to build trails.”

NextLevel Trails is part of Gov. Holcomb's $1 billion Next Level Connectionsinfrastructure program, which accelerates the completion of major highwayprojects, expands access to rural broadband services, creates more nonstopflights and pursues the expansion of rail projects in northwest Indiana.

TheDNR expects to announce the next application period for funding later thisyear. Three rounds of funding are planned. More information about Next LevelTrails can be found at: on.IN.gov/nextleveltrails.

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