CT Advocacy Alert - Support Recreational Trails Funding by 3/6

Thursday, March 3, 2022

CT Members & Supporters,

Demand for recreational trails is growing rapidly! The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP)  recently announced awards of $3 million through its Recreational Trails Grant Program for twenty projects to plan and design, build, expand, or enhance and improve trails across the state. There were another $7+ million in highly ranked proposals out of $22 million in total requests that were unable to be funded due to insufficient funds.

There is a bill (HB 5291) having a public hearing before the Environment Committee on Monday (3/7) that would increase the bond authorization for the Recreational Trails Grant Program to $6 million. Your support for this bill is critical to help ensure annual grant rounds of $3 million or more are available going forward to help address the large, ongoing needs of Connecticut’s recreational trails infrastructure.

Your Written Support is Needed by Sunday, March 6, at 1:00 pm

Trails provide recreation opportunities of course, but also can support nearby businesses, public health, and conservation. Support from trail organizations, recreational businesses, and others is critical. The Connecticut Forest & Park Association recently provided a sample letter of support which we've adapted here.

For legislators to see your comments when the public hearing takes place, email envtestimony@cga.ct.gov with the subject line, "Testimony supporting HB 5291 for public hearing," and your comments attached in a Word or PDF file. Also consider copying your State Senator and Representative and comments@nemba.org.

Sample Letter of Support

 

To:

cc: & your State Senator and Representative

Subject: Testimony supporting HB 5291 for public hearing

 

Dear Co-Chairs Cohen and Gresko, Vice-Chairs Slap and Palm, Ranking Members Miner and Harding, and members of the Environment Committee,

On behalf of _______ located in _______, I write to ask you to support Raised House Bill 5291, An Act Authorizing Bonding for Bikeways, Greenways, and Recreational Trails.

This important bill would increase the bond authorization for the Recreational Trails and Greenways Grants program to $6 million. In Fall 2021 DEEP issued a request for recreational trails proposals with only $3 million available. It received 65 applications requesting over $22 million, of which the highly ranked proposals alone totaled over $7 million. Although $3 million was granted to twenty worthy projects, we expect the ongoing need for investments in Connecticut's outdoor recreation infrastructure to continue.


[Add something here about why you think investing in recreational trails is so important to your work and/or to Connecticut. You are welcome to borrow ideas from CFPA's related testimony last year and the UCONN Extension Trail Census impact series.]

Thank you for the opportunity to submit testimony on this matter.

Sincerely,

Your name/title/organization (with address)