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800,000 reasons why walking in Memphis is going to take a turn for the better

River Edge Trail, a new pedestrian path will link the site's northern and southern reaches.
Credit: zphoto83 - stock.adobe.com

MEMPHIS, Tennessee — NEWS RELEASE FROM THE TENNESSEE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND CONSERVATION

TDEC announces recreation trails grant for Memphis River Parks Partnership

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) today (Wednesday) announced a $800,000 recreation trails grant for the Memphis River Parks Partnership to link the site’s northern and southern regions.

The grant is part of $1,892,642 in grants in Tennessee from the federally funded, state administered Recreation Trails Program (RTP). The state is also awarding $7,584,530 to communities throughout the state from the Local Parks and Recreation Fund (LPRF) program and the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) program.

“We are happy to announce grants that will enhance the outdoor experience in communities across our state,” Jim Bryson, deputy commissioner of TDEC, said. “We want Tennesseans to enjoy recreational activity, and we recognize local leaders need funding to make it happen. These grants help meet that need.”

River Edge Trail, a new pedestrian path will link the site's northern and southern reaches. The 15-foot-wide, one-mile path will wind through distinct topographies, leading to the Civic Gateway’s unique fountain. It will then wind through a grove of trees to a pavilion with restrooms, fitness stations and views of the Mississippi River via an elevated, accessible walkway through the immersive tree canopy.

“From Mud Island to MLK, the Memphis River Parks are a huge source of pride for the entire region,” Sen. Raumesh Akbari, D-Memphis, said. “I love this new trail because it’s going to make the parks even more accessible and more fun.”

“I’m very excited about the River Edge Trail project,” Rep. Barbara Cooper, D-Memphis, said. “This grant from TDEC will allow Memphians to fully enjoy the beauty of the Memphis riverfront and encourage them to participate in a little exercise as well.”

The RTP grant program provides funds for land acquisition for trails, trail maintenance, trail construction, trail rehabilitation, and trail head support facilities. These grants are distributed in the form of an 80-percent grant with a 20-percent match.

The LPRF program provides state funding for the purchase of land for parks, natural areas, greenways, and recreational facilities. LPRF funds also may be used for trail development and capital projects in parks, natural areas, and greenways. The LWCF program provides grants to states to administer to state and local governments for the acquisition and development of public outdoor recreation areas and facilities. These grants require a 50-percent match.