The city of Pierre has received a grant of $95,000 to go toward its Griffin Park Trail rehabilitation project.

Federal Recreational Trails Program (RTP) funding going to several cities, trail groups and state parks totaling $1,358,113 has been awarded by Governor Kristi Noem.

“The City of Pierre applied for and was awarded a RTP grant for reconstruction of approximately 1,300 feet of trail in Griffin Park. The existing eight-feet wide asphalt trail will be removed and replaced with a 10-feet wide concrete trail,” said Randy Kittle, grants coordinator for South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks.

The city of Pierre had taken advantage of the opportunity, and went through a competitive application process for this grant. The five-person citizen RTP advisory council reviewed the applications and made recommendations to Noem.

A section of the Lewis & Clark Trail from Crow Street to the bridge over Capital Creek in the park is to be rebuilt. The asphalt section, more than 30 years old now, is in dire need of repair or replacement. After working with the engineering department, the city will solicit bids for the project this spring. In 2018, the city had already completed rehabilitation of a portion of the trail, which extends all along the river. The estimate on the total project is just under $163,000.

The Recreational Trails Program, a federal assistance program funded by the Federal Highway Administration, provides up to 80 percent reimbursement for trail-related development and maintenance projects. The funds come from the Federal Highway Trust Fund and represent a portion of the motor fuel excise tax collected from non-highway recreational fuel use. In South Dakota, the program is administered by the Department of Game, Fish and Parks.

“These project sponsors have shown a strong commitment to improving their communities and state parks and recreation areas. They’re making South Dakota a better place to live, work, and play,” said Governor Kristi Noem. “These projects will undoubtedly benefit future generations of South Dakotans and encourage more families to enjoy the outdoors together.”

First warning that the city cannot predict the weather, the city believes the future contractor winning the bid should easily be able to complete this section within a summer’s time.

Other South Dakota applicants awarded grants for trail construction and upgrades include:

Black Hills Nordic Ski Club – Trial Groomer and Signs, $7,259

City of Crooks – Sunset Park Trail Extension, $57,750

City of Spearfish – Recreational Trail Extension, $100,000

Trailbusters Snowmobile Club, Beresford, Snowmobile Trail Groomer, $194,800

Yankton County – HWY 52 Trail Resurfacing, $129,618

Additional grants were awarded for trail improvement projects at the Black Hills Snowmobile Trail System, George S. Mickelson Trail and Pierson Ranch-Chief White Crane Connector Trail.

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