NM: Outdoor Recreation Investments Set to Benefit 20 Communities, Create 175 Jobs
Over $2 million awarded for outdoor infrastructure: Clovis, Springer, Zuni, Capitan among project recipients
SANTA FE, N.M. -
New Mexico Economic Development Cabinet Secretary Alicia J. Keyes announced the second round of Outdoor Recreation Trails+ Grant recipients for 2022. The Economic Development Department’s Outdoor Recreation Division is awarding 20 projects at a total of $2,015,565 throughout the state to expand outdoor access and grow the New Mexico outdoor recreation economy.
Of the 20 projects awarded for the second round of 2022, 65% are supporting rural or tribal communities and will create over 175 new jobs in New Mexico including at least 61 full time, 20 part time, 17 seasonal, 6 temporary or contract, and over 77 youth positions.
In 2019, the Outdoor Recreation Division was created when Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham identified the outdoor recreation industry as a key target sector to diversify the New Mexico economy. The office has since invested over $11.74 million in funding outdoor access, including through the Outdoor Recreation Trails+ grant and Outdoor Equity Fund programs. The Outdoor Recreation Trails+ grant was created in 2019 by Gov. Lujan Grisham and lawmakers to support projects that enhance outdoor recreation opportunities for communities, including parks, trails, wildlife viewing areas, and more.
“Outdoor recreation was identified early on by Gov. Lujan Grisham as one way to diversify New Mexico’s economy and to create jobs and more opportunities for rural communities,” Economic Development Cabinet Secretary Alicia J. Keyes said. “We now see that all parts of the state are benefitting from these initiatives with 65% of the projects announced today supporting rural or tribal communities.”
Overall, since the Outdoor Recreation Trails+ grant was created, a total of $5,339,990.17 has been awarded to 66 projects across the state. For 2022, Trails+ opened March 1 of this year on a rolling basis with $7 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act funding. 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 in funding for this year.
The review committee for the second round of awards was comprised of State of New Mexico Public Education Administrator Dr. Susan Chaudoir, ORD Outdoor Recreation Planner Carl Colonius, endeavOR New Mexico Co-Director Jim Glover, ORD Deputy Director Alyssa Renwick, and Center for a Sustainable Future and Outdoor Programs Director Dr. Kathy Whiteman.
“The Trails+ applications reflect the passion and dedication of New Mexico’s community leaders who work tirelessly to improve the quality of life for the people and communities they serve,” Center for a Sustainable Future and Outdoor Programs Director Dr. Kathy Whiteman said. “The diversity of the project proposals illustrates the many ways New Mexicans engage in the outdoors as well as the importance of outdoor infrastructure improvement to statewide economic development.”
"The New Mexico Outdoor Recreation Division is very excited about working with another 20 communities in New Mexico through the Trails+ grant program to increase the investment in outdoor recreation infrastructure,” ORD Outdoor Recreation Planner Carl Colonius said. “This grant program increases access to public lands and recreational opportunities, and is a powerful strategy to ensure healthy, livable communities across the state for generations."
There is currently an additional $2.2 million in funding available for Outdoor Recreation Trails+ projects, with a third and final round of application reviews for 2022 scheduled for later this fall. The tentative deadline for the final review is November 1, and organizations are encouraged to get their applications in by that date. Read the 2022 program guide for details on how to apply.