State to put $7.6 million toward recreation projects

Funds will be matched for 99 projects throughout Utah.

(Trent Nelson | Salt Lake Tribune file photo) A family skips rocks at Antelope Island State Park on April 25, 2020. Money from the Utah Outdoor Recreation Grant will go toward an archery range on the island, one of 99 projects spread over 23 counties.

A state grant is providing millions of dollars in funding for outdoor recreation in 23 counties in Utah.

The Governor’s Office of Economic Development will give $7.6 million in matching funds to recreation projects through the Utah Outdoor Recreation Grant. The grant is funded by the state transient room tax. It also received $4 million from the state legislature this year.

Money from the grant will go to an archery range on Antelope Island, a river recreation project for the Logan River, a climbing anchor replacement project in Sanpete County, Kane County’s East Zion Mountain Bike Trail System and other projects. The Zion Forever project received $500,000 for the second phase of the bike system, which will add 24.5 miles of trails to the existing 10-mile loop.

“The easy access to outdoor recreation opportunities significantly contributes to Utah’s quality of life, Utah’s economy and the ability to attract and retain high-quality employees and jobs in the state,” Dan Hemmert, GOED’s executive director said in news release. “The continued investment provided by the Office of Outdoor Recreation’s grant programs in outdoor recreation infrastructure will have lasting effects on the health and strength of its residents, businesses and the economy.”