The Riverton City Council plans to support a local group’s application for federal grant funding to improve local trails.
The money would come from the Wyoming Office of Outdoor Recreation, which announced a new grant program last year to support public outdoor recreation projects using American Rescue Plan Act funding, Riverton Chamber of Commerce Trails Committee Chair Cathy Rosenthal told the council during a regular meeting this week.
The second round of grant funding is expected to be released “soon,” Rosenthal said, so the Chamber committee has been working with Wyoming Pathways and other community stakeholders to prepare an application based on recommendations from Riverton’s 2019 master plan and some other “ideas that had been developed” by the local group, which spent time bikign and walking “all of the trails around Riverton.”
Based on their research, Rosenthal said her group developed a list of five trail “priority areas with significant maintenance needs” in Riverton.
Priority area No. 1 is the path that runs along Sunset Drive from North Eighth Street West to College View Drive, mainly because “it’s a very public trails system,” Rosenthal said.
“(It’s) a very key trail system to our community, and it’s hard for strollers, it’s hard for walkers, and (there are) cracks and holes that need to be sealed,” she said. “That was kind of what rose this one, in our group, to No. 1.”
Priority area No. 2 is the path along North Eight Street West, which could be expanded north to Webbwood or Country Acres roads, Rosenthal suggested.
The entire trail needs “pretty extensive” resurfacing, Rosenthal said, and there is “a lot” of overgrown vegetation in the area, in addition to broken railings and benches that should be replaced.
She added that a majority of the pathway is in Fremont County, and commissioners have expressed interest in helping with their portion of the trail.
Priority area No. 3 is the bike path along Riverview Road, where there are “large holes” and “cracks needing sealed,” as well as “prevalent” weeds and grass, Rosenthal said.
Priority area No. 4 is the Rails to Trails path that runs diagonally through town.
The majority of the trail “is in relatively great shape,” Rosenthal said, but “there are various cracks in places that need filled,” and the pathway could use some “new signage” and potentially some “lighting down the road.”
Priority area No. 5 is the trail at the Riverwalk on the south side of town.
Again, Rosenthal said, the trail is in “good condition,” but there are “some cracks needing filled,” and “signage to the path would be great,” because people “coming in and out of town … don’t really even know where it’s at or (how) to get there.”
Signage is a “key item” that the local group talked about when discussing paths throughout town, Rosenthal said, pointing out that “a lot of the trails (don’t) have signs,” and the ones that are in place “are kind of getting run down and could use repair.”
She shared a slide showing images from the trails system in Buffalo, where signs are in place bearing maps and information about mileages, for example, which “would be great (for) safety,” Rosenthal said.
The trails committee identified “around 40 locations that could use signage” in Riverton, she said, and there are other areas where “striping and ‘share the road’ signs are also needed.”
In total, the committee anticipates requesting $2.5 million for trail improvements from the recreation grant program, which requires a 10 percent match from successful applicants, Rosenthal said.
She expressed confidence that the committee would be able to generate the matching money through financial and in-kind contributions from local supporters.
The council voted to provide the committee with a resolution of support for the project during an upcoming meeting.
For more information call the City of Riverton at 856-2227.