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The New Mexico Economic Development Department’s (EDD’s) Outdoor Recreation Division handed out more than $2 million to 20 projects statewide through its Outdoor Recreation Trails+ grant, according to a news release.

This is Round 2 of grant funding this year, with Round 1 having been handed out in June. A total of $5 million has been handed out this year for 35 different projects receiving funding through the EDD this year.

The funding is primarily used for expanding outdoor access and growing the outdoor recreational economy in the state through local and regional projects, per the news release.

According to the state’s guidelines for the outdoor grant, there are two tiers — level one focuses on local projects and has a limit of $100,000 in funding, while level two focuses on regional projects and has a maximum limit of $500,000.

Town of Springer — $300,000
City of Albuquerque Parks and Recreation Department, Open Space Division — $295,000
Zuni Youth Enrichment Project — $99,999
Rocky Mountain Youth Corps — $99,999
Pueblo of Acoma — $99,999
Healing America’s Heroes (fiscal sponsor is Village of Capitan) — $99,999
Albuquerque Mountain Bike Association — $99,999
City of Alamogordo — $99,000
Taos Land Trust — $99,000
Taos Academy Charter School — $96,000
Rio Grande Return — $94,078
Santa Fe Fat Tire Society — $93,000
Spirit of Hidalgo — $92,000
City of Clovis — $80,000
New Mexico Wildlife Federation — $71,958
Los Alamos County — $65,000
Aldo Leopold Charter School — $51,450
City of Sunland Park — $29,084
Audubon Southwest — $25,000
Sandoval County — $25,000

“Outdoor recreation was identified early on by the governor as one way to diversify New Mexico’s economy and to create jobs and more opportunities for rural communities,” EDD Cabinet Secretary Alicia J. Keyes said in a statement. “We now see that all parts of the state are benefitting from these initiatives with 65% of the projects announced today supporting rural or tribal communities.”

In 2019, the Outdoor Recreation Division was created when Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham identified the outdoor recreation industry as a key target sector to diversify the New Mexico economy. The office has since invested over $11.74 million in funding outdoor access, including through the Outdoor Recreation Trails+ grant and Outdoor Equity Fund programs.

The state will hand out one more round of grant funding this fall, as it is working with about $2.2 million in funding left for the year, the news release said.

The county plans to use a portion of the money for new trail creation and rehabbing existing trails.

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