The Metro East Park and Recreation District (MEPRD) has announced that its Board of Directors has approved $3 million in grant awards for 20 local park and trail projects located in Madison and St. Clair Counties, Ill. The grants, which were awarded under the MEPRD Park and Trail Grant Program, will assist local and county agencies, municipalities, park districts, and transit districts in the Metro East with developing or improving public parks, regional trails, and recreation facilities.
MEPRD announced the FY 2023 Park and Trail Grant Program in June 2022 with a total program budget of $3 million — the largest program budget approved by MEPRD to date — and began accepting applications on July 13. Under the program, eligible applicants with a qualifying project type could apply for a reimbursement grant of up to 40 percent of their estimated project cost; up to $100,000 for park and recreation facility improvements and up to $300,000 for regional trail development. MEPRD continued accepting applications through the end of August, at which point in time, all available program funds had been applied for and reserved.
“The response to this year’s Park and Trail Grant has been remarkable,” said MEPRD Grant Coordinator Cole Preston. “From the construction of splash pads, inclusive playgrounds and other key improvements to local parks, to the planned development of nearly 9.8 miles of new regional bike trails, the awards under this year’s program will help make many locally led projects a reality and further enrich recreational opportunities and connectivity in the Metro East.”
Of the 20 projects awarded this cycle, nine are for the improvement and/or development of public parks and recreation facilities. The other 11 projects are for the development of regional bike trails and trailhead facilities, which combined total 9.8 miles of new trail development. Taken together, these awarded projects represent a $18.5 million investment in the region’s public parks and regional trail network.
For additional information including detailed project scopes, visit the interactive table of projects and map of projects at www.meprd.org/projects.