Travis, Hays County Get More Than $800,000 in Park Grants

Emerald Crown Trail will get a quarter of a million dollars

Part of the Violet Crown Trail, near the entrance on Slaughter Lane. The Great Springs Project should eventually connect to Violet Crown. (Photo by John Anderson)

On May 23, Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission granted over $4.5 million for trail construction and maintenance, helping finance over 16 state park projects across Texas. Nearly a million dollars will be dedicated to parks close to home, with three projects winning grants in Hays County and one in Travis.

Among the projects with more funding is the Great Springs Project, which aims to establish a green protected corridor running from Austin all the way to San Antonio. The project received a $298,640 grant to spend on construction of a 1.41-mile granite trail along the Emerald Crown Trail, south of Austin.

Grants from the National Recreational Trails Fund in Texas (NRTF) can be used for trail construction, renovation, and acquisition of trail corridors. A portion of the federal gas tax funds the NRTF program. After several funded projects were canceled or completed under-budget last year, NRTF had an additional $900,000 for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission to allocate this year.

Ecology Action of Texas, a nonprofit in Travis County, received a $148,552 grant for the Country Club East Riparian Trail Enhancement project. The grant will help renovate 2 miles of the Circle Acres and Guerrero Park trail and fund the construction of a wooden pathway, signage, and steps from the Atwood Trailhead.

The San Marcos Outer Loop trail in Hays County received a $135,740 grant for the Freeman Ranch segment, part of Texas State University. This grant will help fund the construction of a .95-mile natural surface trail. Meanwhile, the Presa Grande segment received a $300,000 grant for a 1.8-mile natural surface trail, consisting of benches, a bridge, and a trailhead kiosk.

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