Gov. Eric Holcomb joined Elkhart officials in the opening of the River Greenway Trail. The 1.86-mile asphalt trail was built with the help of a $642,600 grant from the Next Level Trails grant program in 2021.
The governor used the occasion to announce the fourth round of the grant program, which will provide $30 million for trails around the state. The River Greenway Trail’s grant was part of the second round of NLT funding.
“Through the largest infusion of trail funding in Hoosier history, Indiana’s Next Level Trails are connecting Hoosiers and our communities to each other and the great outdoors like never before,” said Holcomb in a press release. “With this next round of trails investments, we’ll continue Indiana’s momentum as a nationally recognized trail leader, building new connections across the state.”
The program administered by the Department of Natural Resources has awarded $150 million to 75 projects so far. The fourth round sets aside $22.5 million for regional projects and $7.5 million for local ones.
The River Greenway Trail is a paved trail along the Elkhart River and connects to the Mapleheart Greenway at Hively Avenue, which links to the city of Goshen. Partners to the project include the city of Elkhart Redevelopment Commission, Elkhart Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the Elkhart County Community Foundation.
“We are very lucky to have a community that values trails and recognizes their importance not just for recreation but also for transportation,” said Rod Roberson, Elkhart’s mayor. “Trails are vital connectors for our residents to enjoy and for our commuters to get to work.”
Along with the River Greenway Trail, 17 of the 75 funded projects are complete. They total 54.3 miles of trail since the program started in 2018.
Applications for round four of the program will be accepted July 1 through Aug. 1.
Caption: Gov. Holcomb joined officials from Elkhart to celebrate the opening of the River Greenway Trail, a 1.86-mile asphalt trail built with help from a $642,600 NLT grant awarded in 2021. (Photo provided by Gov. Eric Holcomb)