- Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs
Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Awards Funding to Support Cape Cod Recreational Trail Projects
BREWSTER — The Baker-Polito Administration today announced $249,745 in grants for four projects to improve trails and outdoor recreational opportunities on Cape Cod. The grants will fund construction for sections of the Cape Cod Rail Trail in Dennis and Sandwich, the enhancement of trails and related amenities in a park in Brewster, and improvements to trails in the Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge in Chatham.
“We are proud to have funded or constructed hundreds of miles of new trails across the Commonwealth since the beginning of our administration,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “These grants will significantly improve Cape Cod’s trail system, and further our administration’s commitment to providing residents with access to outdoor recreational opportunities.”
“Cape Cod is home to incredible natural resources, and these trail improvements and expansions will make it easier for residents and visitors to enjoy that beauty and access more outdoor activities,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “We are proud to work with our federal and municipal partners to invest in important local trail projects across the state that will improve the quality of life for Massachusetts residents for generations to come.”
These grants are funded by both federal Recreational Trails Program (RTP) funds and state capital funds from an Environmental Bond Bill. Federal RTP funds are received directly from the motor fuel excise tax on off-road vehicles including ATVs and snowmobiles, and are provided by the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Surface Transportation Act, in coordination with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT). All RTP grant applications have been reviewed by the Massachusetts Recreational Trails Advisory Board (MARTAB), which is an independent volunteer board appointed by the DCR Commissioner. As part of the Administration’s commitment to expand and connect trail networks across the state, Governor Charlie Baker announced in June 2017 that the RTP budget would be increased by 60 percent.
“With these awards, the Baker-Polito Administration is providing key funding for trail projects that will enhance safety, accessibility and usability while closing network gaps for the trails that so many hikers, cyclists, snowmobilers and others enjoy daily,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Matthew Beaton. “Through the Administration’s work through this grant program as well as our Inter-agency Trails Team, we are working to enhance and expand the trail system statewide to improve access to open space and waterfronts, reduce congestion and carbon emissions, and provide more opportunities to enjoy healthy, recreational activity.”
RTP grants can be used to improve long-distance trails and rail trail development, ATV trail maintenance, and the creation and/or maintenance of municipally owned trails. This year’s trail improvements include trail drainage; surfacing and trail erosion control; structure construction; installation of directional trail signage and kiosks; printing and development of maps and brochures; purchasing of trail maintenance equipment; trailhead parking area construction and/or improvements, including those for safety; and upgrading existing trails to accessible trail standards. Additionally, each recipient matches their awarded grant with a minimum of 20 percent in funding or in-kind services for the designated project.
“The Baker-Polito Administration is delighted to be able to provide these grants for local projects that support our shared interest in getting people outside to enjoy the outdoors, get some exercise, and appreciate nature,” said Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) Commissioner Leo Roy. “Residents and visitors to Cape Cod will benefit from these trail projects and through projects being advanced by DCR, such as the extension of the Cape Cod Rail Trail to access our newly acquired campground in Wellfleet.”
To further connect and expand the Cape Cod Rail Trail, the Administration also announced today that $2 million has been provided in the capital budget to enable DCR to extend the Cape Cod Rail Trail in Wellfleet, providing access to DCR’s newly acquired Paine Campground. Construction is expected to begin in the spring of 2019. MassDOT is also completing two extensions to the Cape Cod Rail Trail in Yarmouth, including the Bass River Bridge, which will be open in the fall. The $3.5 million bridge is part of a $9.9 million investment to build 3.8 miles of trail in Yarmouth.
Today’s grantees are:
- Town of Brewster - $40,000 Grant and $29,780 Matching Funds
- The Town of Brewster will use this grant to improve Drummer Boy Park by fixing drainage issues and paving a failing stone dust trail, making it accessible to impaired/handicapped users. The funding will also help extend the trail network, enhance the overlook area, and improve the parking lot.
- Friends of Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge (Chatham) - $10,640 Grant and $5,150 Matching Funds
- Working closely with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Friends of Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge will use this grant to upgrade and improve the popular Boardwalk Trail’s overlook/observation areas according to accessibility guidelines, allowing wheelchair users access to these areas and expanded opportunities for wildlife observation and photography. Improvements include re-grading and re-surfacing two popular overlook/observation areas, and replacement of four interpretive panels along the Boardwalk Trail’s popular overlook areas.
- Town of Dennis - $99,105 Grant and $24,800 Matching Funds
- The Town of Dennis will use this grant to fund bicycle and pedestrian safety improvements at the Cape Cod Rail Trail’s crossing at South Gages Road. The improvements will provide increased sight distance at the crossing and pedestrian activated beacons to alert drivers of crossing foot-traffic.
- Town of Sandwich - $100,000 Grant and $946,986 Matching Funds
- The Town of Sandwich will use this grant to provide an engineered design for a 5-mile link of the Cape Cod Rail Trail through Sandwich, completing a critical segment of a local, regional, and state goal to connect all Cape Towns with the trail system. This segment is part of Sandwich’s plan to provide a safe, scenic, and convenient route into Sandwich Village and ultimately to the Cape Cod Canal Bikeway. The Shared-Use-Path will accommodate multiple users and expand both recreational and economic opportunities for the entire Cape Cod Region.
“This funding for the shared use path in Sandwich is an important investment in our continuing efforts to allow bikers to travel from Woods Hole to Provincetown on dedicated trails,” said State Senator Vinney deMacedo (R-Plymouth). “I appreciate the Baker-Polito Administration’s commitment to investing in this unique attraction that will provide outstanding recreational opportunities for Cape Cod residents and attract visitors to our beautiful region.”
“The Service Road shared use path is not only a safe, scenic, and convenient route connecting Sandwich Village to the Cape Cod Bikeway, it also serves as a key component to completing a trail system linking all Cape Cod towns from the Cape Cod Canal to Race Point Beach,” said State Representative Randy Hunt (R-Sandwich).
“Cape Cod’s natural beauty is shared with visitors and residents alike through a wonderful network of parks and trails,” said State Senator Julian Cyr (D-Truro). “The Recreational Trails Grants awarded to Brewster, Dennis and Chatham provide needed funding to make sure that our trails and observation areas are accessible to everyone and that safety remains a priority for the bicyclists and pedestrians who enjoy them.”