News: Hartwell project receives $25K Handshake Grant for additions to Paynes Creek Trail
Story by Tracy Robillard
SAVANNAH, Ga. -- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Savannah District, in partnership with the Southern Off-Road Bicycle Association, received $25,000 in Handshake Partnership funds from the Corps’ national headquarters for phase two of construction on the Paynes Creek Multi-Purpose Trail, located on the Hartwell Dam and Lake Project in Hartwell, Ga.
The Corps' Handshake Partnership Program aims to initiate new or enhance existing recreation and natural resources management opportunities. It encourages community engagement and promotes mutually-beneficial activities between the Corps and partner organizations.
The program allows the Corps’ national headquarters to provide a source of seed money for proposed projects at Corps locations throughout the country. Handshake application packages are judged annually based on the project’s sustainability, partnership value, environmental stewardship value, communication and education value, recreational benefit and innovativeness.
The program also allows the Corps to accept materials and/or volunteer services from the partnering organization to accomplish the project and help maintain it. The Handshake Partnership Program began in 2004 and is authorized under Section 225 of the Water Resources Development Act of 1992.
The 7.2-mile Paynes Creek Multi-Purpose Trail was completed this April using Handshake Partnership funds awarded to the Corps and SORBA in fiscal year 2009. After this first phase, the team applied for funding again this year in hopes to add some additional features to the trail.
“We are very excited to receive Handshake Funds again this year to make the Paynes Creek Trail even better,” said Chief Park Ranger Zach Harkness. “The trail has been well-received by the community and continues to get heavy use during peak recreation times. SORBA has been an outstanding partner and we look forward to working with them again to make this trail a regional hot spot for bicycle enthusiasts.”
Read more about the Paynes Creek Multi-Purpose Trail from the Savannah District’s summer publication of The Castle Magazine at: http://www.sas.usace.army.mil/CastleOnline/handshake.html
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