Grant helps connect Arthur to Hunter for outdoor recreation
Bismarck, ND – Each year, the North Dakota Parks and Recreation Department (NDPRD) Recreation Trails Program (RTP) awards approximately $1 million of grants through the Federal Highway Administration to various outdoor recreation projects throughout North Dakota. NDPRD and the RTP Advisory Committee selected the Hunter/Arthur Joint Powers Agreement (JPA) Park Board request for funding to convert an abandoned railway corridor that connects the two communities into a non-motorized trail system named Northern Cass Pass. Since 2014, the project has been awarded $646,569.66 and was fully completed this fall.
Northern Cass Pass is used for walking, running, biking, roller blading, and the occasional equestrian use. The 6-mile asphalt trail was constructed with new bridges and parking lots to access the trail at various locations.
“It is amazing how fast this project took hold,” said Secretary of the JPA Board Jennifer Brayton. “At a board meeting, we came up with the idea of turning the railway property into a trail. It took about two years of questioning the possibility of the project and community meetings to establish the idea of a trail, but with the support of the community and grants it is now a reality.”
Northern Cass High School built the trail’s kiosk signage, and its cross-country team uses the trail as a safe place for practices. The City of Arthur has hosted the Arthur 5K on the paved portion of the trail and various community events are held on the large bridge where the trail connects to Hunter.
“From a little idea, it blossomed into a fun community project,” Brayton said.
The JPA also received a grant from the Outdoor Heritage Fund to rebuild the bridges along the corridor and an America the Beautiful grant to plant trees along the trail.
The Recreational Trails Program (RTP) is an 80/20 matching grant program that provides funding for both motorized and non-motorized recreational trail projects. Examples of eligible projects include construction of new recreation trails, restoration of existing trails, development and rehabilitation of trailside and trailhead facilities and trail linkages, purchase and lease of recreational trail construction and maintenance equipment, land acquisition/easements, trail accessibility assessment.
The next round of applications is tentatively scheduled to open April 3, 2023. The applications will be administered through the new on-line platform, Web Grants. For further information, please visit our website at https://www.parkrec.nd.gov/business/grants/recreational-trails-program or contact Char Langehaug, Grants Coordinator at 701-328-5357.