NEW MEXICO – The border city of Sunland Park was one of the recipients of the second round of the Outdoor Recreation Trails+ grant for this 2022, as released by the New Mexico Economic Development Department (EDD).
Sunland Park will receive $29,084 for the completion of a project that will provide upgrades and improvements to the 1.3-mile Paseo Del Sol Trail and existing amenities. This trail includes access to the river and is used by runners, horseback riders, hikers and other recreationists.
In addition, the river serves as a refuge for many species of birds. The goal is to provide residents and trail users access to amenities such as canopies and picnic tables to enjoy nature.
The upgrades will incorporate trail improvements such as signage, picnic shelters, and wildlife viewing, including bird watching and nature walks. This project offers the opportunity to reinvent communities by creating healthier and more resilient cities.
EDD indicated that for the City of Sunland Park, this is an opportune time to develop a comprehensive trail network along the Rio Grande and for New Mexico residents.
New Mexico Economic Development Secretary Alicia J. Keyes announced that EDD’s Outdoor Recreation Division is awarding 20 projects a total of $2,015,565 statewide to expand outdoor access and grow the region’s recreation economy.
Of the 20 projects awarded for the second round in 2022, 65% are supporting rural or tribal communities and will create more than 175 new jobs in New Mexico, including at least 61 full-time, 20 part-time, 17 seasonal, six temporary or contract, and more than 77 youth positions.
In 2019, the Outdoor Recreation Division was created as a key target sector to diversify New Mexico’s economy. Since then, state government has invested more than $11.74 million in outdoor access funding, including through the Outdoor Recreation Trails+ grant and Outdoor Equity Fund programs.
The Outdoor Recreation Trails+ grant was created in 2019 by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham and legislators to support projects that enhance outdoor recreation opportunities for communities, including parks, trails, wildlife viewing areas and more.
Overall, since the grant was created, a total of $5,339,990.17 has been awarded to 66 projects across the state. For 2022, Trails+ opened on March 1 of this year on a rolling basis with $7 million in federal funding from the American Rescue Plan Act.
This second round of awards, in addition to the first round announced in June, brings Trails+ to a total of 35 projects and $4,755,565,000 in funding for this year.
There is currently $2.2 million more funding available for Trails+ outdoor recreation projects, with a third and final round of application review for 2022 scheduled for later this fall. The tentative deadline for final review is November 1.