Archive for Friday, September 14, 2012

State announces funds for recreational trails

September 14, 2012


— State officials on Friday announced Kansas will have $2 million for recreational trails.

Earlier this week, trail advocates had criticized the state for opting out of the federal recreational trails program. Only two states, Kansas and Florida, had opted out.

But state officials said they opted out to increase flexibility on how they spent federal transportation dollars under the new transportation bill.

If they hadn't opted out, the state would have gotten about $1.3 million for trails, state officials said.

On Friday, they said the Kansas Department of Transportation and Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism came up with a way to allocate $2 million.

"This will help move ecotourism forward in Kansas," KDOT Secretary Mike King said.

“One of our highest priorities is to enhance ecotourism in Kansas, which includes developing a good trail system," said Robin Jennison, secretary of the Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, which manages the trails program. “This level of funding will allow us to make great strides in the number and quality of trails across our state," he said.

Kansas has more than 650 trails totaling more than 2,100 miles in length. KDWPT manages trails located on state park, wildlife area or state fishing lake properties. The others are managed by local governments or non-governmental organizations.


Claire Williams 5 years, 9 months ago

This is GREAT news.

When I saw the original article, I think most of us assumed that Kansas opting out meant little to no money for Kansas trails. I doubt anyone could have guessed we were actually going to spend MORE than we were before.

Kudos to you, KDWPT.

Claire Williams 5 years, 9 months ago

Oh, great questions! Thank you for pointing this out, I think I misunderstood the new article.

5 years, 9 months ago

I think the citizens of kansas deserve a bit more detailed explanation of how turning down $1 million gives the state more flexibility in its spending? Or perhaps I am misunderstanding this? How is this stance by brownback "pro-jobs"?

fargo 5 years, 9 months ago

They still receive the federal funding...they just opted out of the program that required them to use it for trails. If you go back and read the story, it indicates they will still receive the federal dollars. Last year over $1 million of these dollars went to local communities for trail projects. While this new response does ease my concern, I still worry that they will pour the majority of these dollars into the Flint Hills project which is a "pie in the sky" trails concept instead of giving it to local communities where it can impact the most people.

tbaker 5 years, 9 months ago

I wish someone would point out in the KS constitution where it says the State is supposed to spend money on things like this.

Given the funding reductions we've been discussing, should our state be spending money on things like this?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 9 months ago

Yes. Alternate modes of transportation modes such as this will be essential in the coming years.

fargo 5 years, 9 months ago

If we don't provide opportunities for our citizens - in particular, our children - to live healthy lifestyles and find ways to connect with nature, this country is going to be in a world of hurt in the very near future. Obesity is a major issue and there is clear data which indicates that when children are outside and serves as a catalyst for improving the mind and removing stress. Even if you don't explore trails or have no interest in being outside, this is such a positive influence on enhancing the health of people.

Matt Schwartz 5 years, 9 months ago

Are kids don't NEED state trails to be healthy, but it helps out for sure. A little less time on electronics , a little less sugar water....that's what would help with obesity.

gbulldog 5 years, 9 months ago

How about converting trails to rails. I used to ride train to go to larger Kansas cities. Now the trains are gone. Some have been converted to trails, but most are now weedy paths or converted to farm ground. I also miss the covenience of trains. It used to be that we could leave in the evening on a train, ariving the next morning in Denver. Now it takes longer (and I have to do it) to drive to Denver. And flying is not a resonalbe alternative.

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