ACRES ELEVENTH ANNUAL CHRISTMAS SING ALONG
Join Jim Shearer and Art and Marion Eberhardt on Sunday, December 4, at 2:00 PM for this favorite holiday event. Sharon Smith will cater her rum balls and other delights. The event will take place at the Wing Haven Nature Preserve in Steuben County. The Preserve is located on 400 North. Take I-69 to exit 154 and turn south on State Road 127. Then immediately turn east onto 400 North. Wing Haven is located on the north side of 400 North, approximately 1 mile. For more information call ACRES at 422-1004.
FIRE WOOD REMINDER
IDNR is trying to stop the spread of Emerald Ash Borer, an exotic insect that kills ash trees. Because this pest is found in the bark of firewood, if the facility you are visiting allows a fire please burn all firewood completely to help avoid spreading the insect.
It is against State and Federal laws to transport firewood (other than pine) from quarantined areas. No firewood may be carried over the Michigan State Line into Indiana. Firewood also may not be carried into any park or reservoir from the following counties in Ohio: Lucas, Fulton, Henry, Wood, and Paulding.
Firewood must also not be brought into any park or reservoir from the following Lagrange and Steuben counties. All firewood must be burned prior to leaving any State Park and Reservoir property and not left behind for other campers.
DNR ADMINISTERS OVER $1 MILLION IN TRAILS
In accordance with Govenor Mitch Daniels' INShape Indiana initiative, the DNR will administer $1,025,103 in federal grants on six trail projects in six different counties around the state. The DNR was authorized to use $20,000 to help defray the cost of administering the grants.
"We're following Gov. Daniels' directive to offer healthful outdoor opportunities within a reasonable driving distance of each Hoosier," said Kyle Hupfer, DNR director. "We hope the people of Indiana will enjoy hiking, wildlife watching, cycling and other outdoor activities with the new facilities made possible with these grants."
The grants come from the federal Recreational Trails Program (RTP). Every year a portion of the federal transportation bill is apportioned to each of the 50 states through the Federal Highway Administration to fund recreational trails. The amount distributed to each state is based on the total of federal motor fuel excise tax paid by users of off-road recreational vehicles such as snowmobiles, off-road motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles, and off-road light trucks in that state.
The program stipulates that 30% of the funds are spent on motorized trails; 30% go to trails for non-motorized sports; and 40% are spent on diverse-use trails. The RTP funds can be used for acquisition and development of public trails and can include, but are not limited to, development of trailhead facilities, maintenance and restoration of existing trails and trailhead facilities, stream and river access sites, bridges, boardwalks, crossings, signage, equestrian facilities, safety and educational programs, sanitary facilities, and other support facilities and administrative costs.
In order to be eligible for this federal funding, states must establish a trails advisory board composed of different trail interest groups including: hikers, sportsmen and women, motorcyclists, bicyclists, mountain bicyclists, ATV riders, four wheel drive riders, snowmobilers, equestrians, trail users with disabilities, water trail users, park and recreation agencies, environmental groups, soil and water conservation districts, and trail support groups.
Some of the projects receiving money and their grant amounts are:
Rivergreenway Loop Trail
Sponsor: Decatur-Adams County Parks Department
Award: $150,000 Total project cost: $187,500
Scope: Partially acquire and develop the 3.5-mile Rivergreenway Loop Trail, including site amenities and river access.
Towpath Trail-Phase I
Sponsor: Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Department
Total project cost: $187,500
Scope: Develop and add .85 miles of trail to the Fort Wayne's Greenway system, connecting it to the Aboite trail system.
Since 1994, the DNR has administered 59 RTP grants totaling $6,914,358 for Indiana projects. Applications are due May 1 of each year. For more information about the RTP program, visit www.in.gov/dnr/outdoor/grants/rtp.html