Milton — The Baker-Polito Administration today announced $11.4 million in funding through the MassTrails Grant Program to support 81 trail improvement projects across the Commonwealth to expand and connect the state’s network of trails. Today’s announcement was made by Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Beth Card, Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) Secretary Jamey Tesler, Department of Conservation and Recreation Commissioner (DCR) Doug Rice, and state and local officials at Wharf Street Park in the Town of Milton. The grants will assist municipalities, non-profit organizations, and other public entities for the design, construction, and maintenance of a variety of public trails throughout the state, including hiking trails, bikeways, and shared-use paths. Additionally, this year, MassTrails has partnered with the Conine Family Foundation’s HubLuv Initiative, which seeks to further improve the Commonwealth’s existing trail network.
“Over the last couple of years, the importance of the Commonwealth’s trails and other natural resources has never been greater for children and families seeking to get outside and explore nature,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “By partnering with organizations like the Conine Family Foundation and working with municipalities across the state, we will continue our ongoing efforts to provide a high level of access for people of all abilities to enjoy.”
“Through the MassTrails Grant Program our Administration remains dedicated to ensuring infrastructure like trails continue to be improved upon,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “Massachusetts is home to a first rate network of trails from the Berkshires to Cape Cod, and with strong support from our partners, Massachusetts’ trails will connect communities and regions, benefitting residents for years to come.”
The MassTrails Grant Program supports projects that build public-private partnerships to maintain and improve existing trails and construct new ones across the state. This year’s projects will help communities develop new multi-use trails, expand accessibility, create connections between towns and existing trails, support the construction of boardwalks and bridges, design and install new signage, and acquire new land for trails.
“Since taking office, the Baker-Polito Administration has remained dedicated to constructing and maintaining high-quality trails across the state for everyone to enjoy,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Beth Card. “Expansive and well-connected trails make it safer and more convenient for residents to travel or recreate, and these grants will assist our partners who are so dedicated to the enhancement of the Commonwealth’s trail system.”
The MassTrails Grant Program is funded through the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation’s (DCR) capital budget and from Recreational Trails Program grants funded through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration, which is administered on the state level by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT).
“The more than $11 million total in grants being announced are a key part of the Baker-Polito Administration’s commitment to providing a safe and equitable transportation network that supports the Commonwealth’s transit, economic, climate, and public health goals,” said Transportation Secretary and CEO Jamey Tesler. “Each of these projects will help increase the number of residents who have access to a shared-use path, and expanding the network of trails is pivotal to creating comfortable, safe, and convenient travel pathways for people to walk and bike to work, run their errands, or get outside for fun and exercise.”
“The Department of Conservation and Recreation manages nearly half a million acres of land across the Commonwealth, including a vast trail system that spans thousands of miles,” said DCR Commissioner Doug Rice. “Importantly, the MassTrails Grant Program fosters relationships between the state, municipalities, local leaders, and organizations, like the Conine Family Foundation’s HubLuv Initiative, to improve these recreational resources and make a positive impact on local communities.”
Conine Family Foundation founders Alexi and Steve Conine are passionate cyclists committed to acting as a catalyst to create a world-class active trail network in the greater Boston area. They aim to connect communities, people, and places through their foundation’s HubLuv Initiative. They have funded various projects to further this goal and take actions to help institutionalize the MassTrails program.
“We are pleased to support the greater Boston cycling network through our new HubLuv Initiative,” said Conine Family Foundation President Alexi Conine. “We are particularly excited to partner with DCR to help catalyze a number of projects which will benefit residents of neighborhoods in and around Boston. We are grateful for the collaboration of community leaders and the increase in public funding for shared-use pathways being connected across the state.”
This year’s MassTrails Grant projects will impact the following municipalities: Adams, Agawam, Amesbury, Amherst, Ashfield, Athol, Attleboro, Barnstable, Belmont, Becket, Bolton, Boxford, Brimfield, Bourne, Chatham, Chelsea, Cheshire, Clinton, Concord, Dalton, Danvers, Dennis, East Lee, Edgartown, Egremont, Fall River, Falmouth, Framingham, Gardner, Grandby, Great Barrington, Groton, Hadley, Hamilton, Hanover, Hardwick, Harwich, Hatfield, Hawley, Haydenville, Hinsdale, Holliston, Holyoke, Hopkinton, Lanesborough, Lee, Lunenburg, Lynn, Lynnfield, Marblehead, Mattapoisett, Methuen, Middleton, Milton, Monterey, Mount Washington, Nahant, New Ashford, New Bedford, New Salem, Newbury, Newton, North Adams, Northampton, Norwood, Otis, Peabody, Pittsfield, Plainfield, Plymouth, Russell, Salem, Salisbury, Sandisfield, Savoy, Sheffield, Shrewsbury, Shutesbury, South Hadley, South Lee, Southampton, Southborough, Southbridge, Spencer, Sterling, Stoughton, Sudbury, Swampscott, Templeton, Tolland, Tyringham, Wakefield, Waltham, Washington, West Springfield, West Tisbury, Westborough, Williamsburg, Williamstown, Windsor and Yarmout. For a complete list and brief description of each of the 81 projects receiving funding, please visit the MassTrails Grants webpage.
“The Bird Street Memorial Conservation Lands Trail is a beautiful area and I am grateful that these funds will be used to improve these trails,” said State Representative Bill Galvin (D-Canton). “I hope this will encourage more people to explore and appreciate this scenic area.”
“I am grateful to DCR for its continued investment in communities to protect natural resources across the Commonwealth that are enjoyed by visitors from near and far,” said State Senator Walter F. Timilty (D-Milton). “I am pleased that the towns of Milton and Stoughton have been awarded matching funds through MassTrails to help carry out essential improvement to access trails and paths. The value of our open space, nature, and the trails that connect these amazing destinations are precious assets to our economy and beneficial for generations to come.”
“These funds are essential in continuing to develop and cultivate the network of existing trails, and to increase access and make connections for families and commuters to the city and to the Blue Hills Reservation,” said State Respresntative Bill Driscoll, Jr. (D-Milton). “Massachusetts is fortunate to have these exceptional trails, and as they expand will continue to promote connectivity and community engagement.”
All MassTrails Grant Program applications are reviewed by the governor’s inter-agency Trails Team and the Massachusetts Recreational Trails Advisory Board (MARTAB). The program provides essential funding for project development, design, and construction of shared-use pathways, facilitating connections to where people live, work, and recreate. These funds are focused on constructing and maintaining recreational trails of all types and use, including both motorized and non-motorized activities, such as hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, cross-country skiing, paddling, snowmobiling, and recreational off-highway vehicle riding.