Thanks to a fundraising effort led by the Friends of the Fort Worth Nature Center, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department awarded a $200,000 recreational trails grant to enhance trail facilities.
The Friends raised more than $100,000 in matching funds for the project. The grant will fund additional parking, trail stabilization and restoration as well as a trailhead kiosk and a compost toilet.
The project will take place at the southern portion of the nature center’s 20 miles of trails at Greer Island. This area suffered extensive flooding in 2014 and 2015, creating the need for restoration.
Carter Smith, executive director of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, presented the Friends with a check for $200,000 at a reception honoring Fort Worth resident Ralph Duggins, who was appointed Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission chairman earlier this year. The event also kicked off the initial phase of the nature center’s plans to preserve and enhance one of the largest urban nature parks with the goal of making it one of the best in the country.
The trails are used by more than 60,000 visitors annually with a growth rate of 6 percent per year. The trail system forms one of the largest and most diverse trail systems in North Central Texas.