WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen (both D-Md.) have announced $50,000 in grant funding from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) for Garrett Trails, which manages the recreational trail network in Garrett County, Md. The funds will be used to conduct a Trail Feasibility Study of the Casselman River Railroad project, which will assess the viability of bridging a gap between several miles of trail that would connect users of the Great Allegheny Passage trail to the 150 mile Eastern Continental Divide Loop trail through the heart of Garrett County. Doing so would improve economic development and growth within the county, create more recreational opportunities and make the trail network more accessible for local residents.
“Garrett County’s trails are a state treasure, bringing immeasurable joy to Maryland families and keeping each new generation connected with the outdoors,” said Senator Cardin, a member of the Senate Finance Committee. “These funds are an investment in those families and in the trails that they love. I’ll keep working hard to ensure ARC has the resources it needs to continue supporting transformative projects like this one.”
“Throughout the year, families across Maryland visit Garrett County to hike and take in the beautiful scenery. This grant will help upgrade local trails and ensure that families are able to visit for years to come. Our state is home to so many wonderful parks, and I will keep fighting to protect them today and for future generations,” said Senator Van Hollen, a member of the Environment and Public Works and Appropriations Committees.
The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) is a regional economic development agency that represents a partnership of federal, state and local government. Its mission is to invest in projects that expand rural communities’ access to the services and economic development assistance they need to thrive. Senators Cardin and Van Hollen advocated for and secured maintained funding for ARC in the FY18 Omnibus despite the Trump Administration’s proposal to eliminate ARC.