The Utah Office of Outdoor Recreation’s (OOR) fifth grant cycle of the Utah Outdoor Recreation Grant (UORG), has awarded over $4.3 million in grant funding to 55 different outdoor recreation infrastructure projects throughout the state of Utah.
Over the last five years, the UORG has awarded grants to 155 projects in 22 counties, with a total value of over $75 million. With a seven-to-one match and 60 percent of UORG’s total funds supporting rural counties, Utahns throughout the state greatly value recreation in their communities.
The 2019 grant funds will create an estimated impact of over $35.3 million statewide including grants, matching funds and private investments. The 2019 UORG cycle generated an eight-to-one return on investment for state funds and awarded 53 percent of its funds to rural counties.
“Utah’s outdoor industry plays a vital role in our economic development, as well as helping to provide a high quality of life for all Utahns,” said Val Hale, executive director of the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development. “The Utah Outdoor Recreation Grant helps fund projects which encourage communities and families to get outside. It also supports local and state business to help grow our economy.”
The Utah Outdoor Recreation Grant helps Utahns live active and healthy lifestyles by investing in trails, campgrounds, waterways and more. With this year’s trail work combined from all projects, the state will see 125 miles of new recreational trails. Recreators will get to experience these 55 new infrastructure sites for camping, archery, fishing, kayaking and canoeing, hiking, mountain biking, climbing, and more in 2021 as all projects complete construction and open for public use.
“The Utah Outdoor Recreation Grant continues to be an invaluable tool for Utah’s communities,” said Tom Adams, director of the Utah Office of Outdoor Recreation. “Thanks to strong private/public partnerships, federal and state land managers, city officials, and nonprofit organizations helped fund outdoor recreation in 20 Utah counties. Fourteen different activities helped support over $35.3 million in recreation infrastructure statewide. Its success is a testament to Utah’s strong partnerships with public land managers, commitment to recreation and the state’s unmatched quality of life.”
The Utah Office of Outdoor Recreation received 66 applications during this funding cycle. The 14-member Utah Outdoor Recreation Grant advisory committee reviewed the submissions and granted awards to 55 projects. Amounts awarded ranged from $1,350 to $150,000 per project. Awardees have two years to complete the projects before receiving the full reimbursement of awarded grant funds.