The William Penn Foundation has announced grants totaling $10.6 million in support of a project to build multi-use trails in southeastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
The grants will help close gaps in and accelerate completion of the Circuit Trails, a regional network of interconnected trails totaling eight hundred miles — three hundred and twenty-nine of which have been built — that provides opportunities for recreation, exercise, and travel, as well as access to miles of rivers and streams. The grants include $6.6 million in capital funding to the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission to provide technical assistance and administer a competitive re-granting fund in support of the planning, design, and construction of new trails.
Other coalition partners receiving grants include the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia; the Brandywine Conservancy and Museum of Art in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania; the D&R Greenway Land Trust in Princeton, New Jersey; the Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Corridor in Easton, Pennsylvania; the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy; the Heritage Conservancy in Doylestown, Pennsylvania; and the Philadelphia-based Schuylkill River Development Corporation.
"With more than half of the total project left to complete, we have established an interim goal of reaching five hundred trail miles by the year 2025," said Sarah Clark Stuart, chair of the Circuit Trails Coalition and executive director of the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia. "The foundation's funding is so critical to helping the coalition achieve this ambitious goal, as every mile of multi-use trail requires a significant level of investment for planning, feasibility study, design, and construction as well as communication, advocacy, and organizing."