The Economic Development Department (EDD) Outdoor Recreation Division Director Karina Armijo announced last week the first round of Outdoor Recreation Trails+ Grant awardees for 2023. Awards total $2,360,289 for 20 projects by organizations bringing in an additional $1,953,453 in matching funding.
The Outdoor Recreation Trails+ Grant invests in conservation-minded shovel-ready projects that are open to the public, increase access to outdoor opportunities, and demonstrate a clear economic benefit to the community through improved quality of life, better public health outcomes, and/or increased eco-tourism. Eligible projects include trail design or construction, signage, river access, whitewater amenities, outdoor classroom infrastructure, trailhead improvements, picnic shelters, wildlife viewing areas, and more.
“We are proud to support these organizations,” ORD Director Karina Armijo said. “These projects are adding and updating trail infrastructure that promotes stewardship, increases equitable access to the outdoors for all New Mexicans, and enriches our community connection to the stunning landscapes that define our state while creating jobs and expanding economic opportunities.”
The grant recipients of this round are located throughout the state in 12 counties with 80% of the projects based in rural areas and two in Tribal communities. Awards range from $26,000 for Surf New Mexico planning a river park in Velarde to $499,927 for the City of Carlsbad for the Carlsbad Lower Tansill Dam renovation initiative. Projects receiving funding are estimated to create more than 250 jobs and will either build or maintain over 600 miles of New Mexico trails.
“The Pueblo of Jemez NM-4 multi-use pedestrian trail project will greatly improve the health and safety of our community, by providing a safe pathway to walk, run, and roll along the NM-4,” Pueblo of Jemez Planning Development & Transportation Department Director Sheri Bozic said. “We are grateful to have the support of the EDD Outdoor Recreation Division and fortunate to receive Trails+ grant funding for our project!”
There is an additional $7.6 million in funding available for Outdoor Recreation Trails+ projects, with the application open on a rolling basis until FY24 funding is expended. Organizations are encouraged to apply early for this competitive grant.