The State of North Carolina designates “state trails” and helps with the general path of the “trail corridor.” From there, it is up to the locals to handle funding, easements, trail building and trail maintenance for their section. In early 2020, the NC Coalition for Trails started discussing direct state funding for trails.
In may, the group sent a proposal to Governor Cooper for the 2020-21 budget that included
- $15M non-recurring state funding for shovel-ready for state and recreation trails.
- $2 million recurring state funding for cost-share agreements with nonprofits for State Trails. 150K per trail nonprofit and $650,000 to fund the state trail leadership position & related administrative costs.
Final amount received = $2.1M CARES Act funding for state parks and state trails on state land
- Build a broad-based coalition of trail and outdoor recreation groups to ensure diverse representation and serve as a voice for the important benefits trails provide to communities;
- Secure dedicated state funding for trail and greenway projects across the state, including $15 million non-recurring and $2 million recurring for natural surface trails, and $30 million non-recurring and $10 million recurring for greenways and standard use paths;
- Designate 2023 as the Year of the Trail with special programming throughout the state highlighting different trails, notable recognitions of people and projects and hold a statewide trails and greenways conference; and,
- Establish a NC Trails Caucus within the General Assembly to ensure a sustainable legislative body to support this work into the future.
Charlie Brady, Blue Ridge Conservancy
Kate Dixon, Friends of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail
Beth Heile, Friends of the Valdese Rec
Bill Holman, The Conservation Fund
Judge Bob Hunter, Friends of Fonta Flora State Trail
Andrew Kota, Foothills Conservancy of NC
Palmer McIntyre, Piedmont Legacy Trails & Piedmont Land Conservancy
Jan Pender, Conservation Corps North Carolina
Kieran Roe, Conserving Carolina
Sarah Sanford, East Coast Greenway Alliance