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TDEC Announces Recreation Trails Grant for West Tennessee River Basin Authority

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) today announced a $400,000 recreation trails grant for the West Tennessee River Basin Authority for a trailhead and other facilities at Middle Fork Bottoms in Jackson.

The grant is part of $1,892,642 in grants in Tennessee from the federally funded, state administered Recreation Trails Program (RTP). The state is also awarding $7,584,530 to communities throughout the state from the Local Parks and Recreation Fund (LPRF) program and the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) program.

“We are happy to announce grants that will enhance the outdoor experience in communities across our state,” Jim Bryson, deputy commissioner of TDEC, said. “We want Tennesseans to enjoy recreational activity, and that includes meeting the needs of entities such as parks, natural areas and resource management.”

“This grant is another boost to the continued momentum we are seeing in West Tennessee and I am excited the West Tennessee River Basin Authority has been awarded these funds for enhancements at Middle Fork Bottoms,” Rep. Chris Todd, R-Jackson, said. “This project will give our citizens even more opportunities to enjoy the beautiful natural areas in our community. I know of no agency better suited to effectively implement this investment.”

“This is great news,” Sen. Ed Jackson, R-Jackson, said. “This grant makes an already wonderful recreational area an even better place for people to come and enjoy nature at its finest. It is truly one of the most unique and scenic recreational areas of Tennessee and I am extremely pleased to see this grant awarded to support improvements.” 

“I’m very excited about the upgrades coming soon to Middle Fork Bottoms,” Rep. Johnny Shaw, D-Bolivar, said. “This will certainly help people enjoy the beauty of the area and we are appreciative to all who helped make this grant possible.”

The project includes development of a trailhead with restroom facilities, an information kiosk, boardwalk/overlooks for natural areas, educational signage, site fixtures, and site access control.

The RTP grant program provides funds for land acquisition for trails, trail maintenance, trail construction, trail rehabilitation, and trail head support facilities. These grants are distributed in the form of an 80-percent grant with a 20-percent match.

The LPRF program provides state funding for the purchase of land for parks, natural areas, greenways, and recreational facilities. LPRF funds also may be used for trail development and capital projects in parks, natural areas, and greenways. The LWCF program provides grants to states to administer to state and local governments for the acquisition and development of public outdoor recreation areas and facilities. They require a 50-percent match.