Press Release

Press Release  Healey-Driscoll Administration Announces $24 Million Investment for Trail Projects Across Massachusetts

ARPA Funding will Support the Expansion and Maintenance of the State’s Network of Trails in Environmental Justice Communities
For immediate release:
  • Department of Conservation & Recreation

Media Contact   for Healey-Driscoll Administration Announces $24 Million Investment for Trail Projects Across Massachusetts

Brenna Galvin, DCR Press Secretary

Boston — The Healey-Driscoll Administration today announced an investment of $24 million to expand and maintain the state’s network of trails in environmental justice communities across the state. Massachusetts has an ever-expanding network of trails that create connections between communities, promote tourism and economic growth, provide opportunities for transportation that help reach the state’s climate goals, and give residents access to the Commonwealth’s natural, recreational, and cultural resources.  

“This funding is an investment in the well-being of our residents and our economy,” said Governor Maura Healey. “Already, outdoor recreation contributes $11 billion to our economy. By investing in our trails system, more people will look to Massachusetts for their next vacation in nature, and we can get our own residents moving out on our trails, whether to work or just to appreciate Massachusetts’ natural beauty. We’re grateful to the Biden-Harris Administration and our Congressional delegation for making this transformational funding available through the American Rescue Plan Act.” 

“Investing in our trails pays off for cities and towns. During my time as mayor, I saw firsthand how enhancing the trail system can improve public health and bring in new revenues,” said Lieutenant Governor Kim Driscoll. “By leveraging the power of our state’s trail network, we are uniting communities and creating opportunities for tourism, sustainable transportation, and exercise.” 

“Trails are a key piece of our sustainable transportation infrastructure that many residents depend on to commute to work. It’s important that this infrastructure can withstand the impacts of climate change,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Rebecca Tepper. “This investment is a matter of equity. The trails system belongs to all of us, and this funding demonstrates our commitment to clean and healthy spaces for our environmental justice communities.” 

“DCR manages a vast trail network that helps us build healthy families through outdoor recreation and support sustainable transportation, tourism, and economic opportunity across the state,” said Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) Commissioner Brian Arrigo. “These ARPA investments in our trail systems will enable us to create a more connected, accessible, and vibrant Massachusetts.” 

The $24 million investment, funded through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), will make possible projects in environmental justice communities that otherwise might have waited years. Of the total investment, $15 million will be used for the construction of major trail systems within the DCR trail network, including the Charles River Greenway in Waltham, the Mystic River Clippership Connector in Medford, the Blackstone River Greenway, and the Massachusetts Central Rail Trail (MCRT) in Waltham. Additionally, municipalities, through the MassTrails Grant program, will receive $6 million to support the creation and upkeep of municipally owned trails in West Springfield, Agawam, Clarksburg, Wendell, Ashland, Boxford, Leominster, Beckett, Granby, Dorchester, Milton, and Mattapan, Waltham, Medford, and Blackstone. 

The MassTrails Grant Program is an inter-agency grant program through the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, EEA, and DCR, that provides matching grants, technical assistance and resources to individuals, municipalities, non-profits, and other public entities. These funds go toward the design, construction, and maintenance of diverse, high-quality trails, including hiking trails, bikeways, and shared-use paths. The program supports projects that build public-private partnerships and provides essential funding for project development, design, and construction of shared-use pathways, facilitating connections to where people live, work, and recreate. In June, the Administration announced $11.6 million in funding through the grant program to support 68 trail improvement projects across the state. 

Additionally, $3 million will be used for the upkeep of the DCR trails, ensuring their longevity and quality for years to come. 

“The last few years have highlighted how important it is to have access to safe trails and outdoor recreational opportunities, especially for those in environmental justice communities,” said Senator Brendan Crighton, Senate Chair of the Trails Caucus. “This investment will make a tangible difference to our state’s expansive trail network, which benefits us all.” 

"Shared-use trails are a key tool for connecting our communities and bolstering public health,” said Representative Michelle Ciccolo, House Chair of the Trails Caucus. “They are a particularly important transportation and recreational resource in underserved areas of our state where residents may not otherwise have access.   I'm thrilled that the Healey-Driscoll Administration is prioritizing this important financial investment which will provide numerous benefits across the state."

All existing trails are expected to remain open to the public while maintenance and construction take place, ensuring the continued enjoyment of these important pathways.  

This announcement is part of the Administration’s ongoing work to connect environmental justice communities across Massachusetts with access to open space for recreation, economic development, and environmentally friendly transportation. 


Media Contact   for Healey-Driscoll Administration Announces $24 Million Investment for Trail Projects Across Massachusetts

  • Department of Conservation & Recreation 

    DCR manages state parks and oversees more than 450,000 acres throughout Massachusetts. It protects, promotes, and enhances the state’s natural, cultural, and recreational resources.
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