Salt Lake City – The Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity (Go Utah) recently announced the largest grant funding yet from the Utah Outdoor Recreation Grant (UORG) program.
The bureau will award $11 million in matching grants to 85 outdoor recreation projects in Utah, totaling more than $90 million in project value – a 9:1 investment in state dollars. The UORG receives funding from the state’s Transitional Chambers Tax, and in 2022 the Utah Legislature supplemented the grant fund with additional one-time funding of $5 million.
“Outdoor recreation is a major contributor to Utah’s high quality of life. It’s great to see outdoor recreation as a priority for leaders at the state level and in our local communities,” said Pitt Grewe, Director of the Division of Outdoor Recreation. “It is a privilege to support communities wishing to invest in outdoor recreation infrastructure.
This year, 23 of Utah’s 29 counties received project funding, and 26 counties have received funding since the grant began in 2015. More than half of this year’s outdoor recreation grant funding goes to rural Utah counties. Since the grant’s inception in 2015, more than 60% of grant funding has gone to rural Utah.
“With funding from strategic partners like the UORG, Helper City will be able to create better access to the Price River, improve safety and return the river to its most natural state,” the mayor said. of Helper City, Lenise Peterman. Helper City received a $500,000 grant during this year’s round. “The river restoration project serves as a key anchor as we shift our economic position by maximizing our natural resources while enhancing recreational use for fishing, tubing, kayaking and swimming.”
Since 2015, the Utah Outdoor Recreation Grant has awarded more than $34.7 million to 399 projects to build or restore outdoor recreation infrastructure in Utah. In addition to funding new recreational infrastructure, the grants fund rehabilitation projects for existing infrastructure. Funds are also used to create permanent infrastructure projects that support nature-based STEM learning or outdoor recreation skill development for K-12 youth. This year, 16 projects received $1.5 million for restoration work and nearly $100,000 for outdoor classrooms was awarded to 10 outdoor classroom projects.
In addition to infrastructure for water recreation, snowmobiling, rock climbing and other recreational activities, this year’s grant will help restore nearly 170 miles of existing multi-use trails and build approximately 200 miles of multi-use trails. Bountiful City, which received $500,000, will use the funds to massively expand its trail network.
“Bountiful’s new trail system will more than double the number of multi-use trail miles in the region and seamlessly integrate with the expansion of the Bonneville Shoreline Trail to make the southern foothills of Davis County one of popular destination locations for hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding and ATV use along the Wasatch Front,” according to the Bountiful Trails Advisory Board.
“This is an exciting time for recreation in Utah. Not only are more and more people enjoying our beautiful public lands, but with the creation of the new Outdoor Recreation Division and the Outdoor Adventure Commission, Utah is leading the way in how we invest in, support and plan for one of our greatest resources, access to our natural spaces,” says Grewe. “Utah continues to be the national leader in prioritizing outdoor recreation and access to nature.”
Home to the nation’s first Office of Outdoor Recreation, recent legislation expands the roles and scope of the Utah Office by merging the Recreation Division and Office of Outdoor Recreation into a single entity – the Recreation Division outdoors – which will exist in the Department of Natural Resources. The legislature created the Outdoor Adventure Infrastructure Restricted Account and this merger in its 2022 session. This new account will collect 1% of sales and use the tax to build new outdoor recreation infrastructure and upgrade upgrade or replace existing recreational infrastructure.
“Utah is an incredible place to live and visit, in large part because of the natural spaces and opportunities for outdoor recreation. Investing in these places delivers benefits almost immediately while allowing communities to dream big through multi-year, phased project funding,” said Brian Steed, executive director of the Utah Department of Natural Resources. “We are delighted to welcome the Office of Outdoor Recreation to the Department of Natural Resources. It’s a great time for recreation in this state, and we look forward to improving how we support Utah’s land, economy, and communities through the new Outdoor Recreation Division. .
To learn more about the Utah Outdoor Recreation Grant, visit business.utah.gov/outdoor/uorg/.
Here is a complete list of 2022 grant recipients.
Please see photos of grant projects here.
About the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity
Under the direction of Governor Spencer J. Cox, the Governor of Utah’s Office of Economic Opportunity (Go Utah) provides resources and support for starting, growing, and recruiting businesses. It also leads to an increase in tourism, film production, outdoor recreation, and mixed martial arts in Utah. Using state resources and contracts with the private sector, the bureau administers programs in economic areas that present the greatest development potential and opportunity for Utahans.