Prairie Township gets Clean Trail grant


By Amanda Ensinger
Staff Writer

Prairie Township has something to celebrate. The township recently was notified that they received a grant for $487,000 from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

“We have been preliminary approved for this grant,” said James Gant, director for the Prairie Township Community Center. “The board still has to approve this and we have to get approval from the state house, but it is ours.”

The Clean Ohio Trail Grant provides the township with 80 percent of the expenses associated with building a trail that would connect the Camp Chase Trail to the new Galloway Road Sports Complex to Alton Hall Elementary School.

“Once we officially receive the grant, we have 18 months to complete it,” Gant said. “The township will also be responsible for 20 percent of the expenses associated with this.”

Previously, the township estimated that the total cost for the trail would be approximately $600,000, however final numbers are still being evaluated.

The grant would cover the first section of the trail, which will span less than a mile. Eventually, the township hopes to connect the trail to the community center and have it extend two miles.

In 2015, the township applied for this grant, but did not receive it.

“This is only our second time applying for this, so we are thrilled we received it,” Gant said. “This is a very competitive grant that many are applying for, so it is an honor to be selected.”

The trail will have lanes and be open to runners, walkers, rollerbladers and bikers; no motorized vehicles will be allowed on the trail.

Township officials feel by connecting to the Camp Chase Trail, they will spur further economic development in the area, as well as attract new residents.

“This new trail could attract new businesses and residents to the area and retain the ones we currently have,” said Tracy Hatmaker, township administrator.

The township hopes new businesses will pop-up in the township along the trail and take advantage of the thousands of people that use it each year.

The Camp Chase Trail is a 15-mile multi-use trail that spans Madison and Franklin counties.

The trail serves the southwest Columbus segment of the Ohio to Erie Trail, as well as is part of a west-east bicycle route across Ohio connecting Indiana to West Virginia.

“This is going to be a great project for the community,” Gant said. “This is going to be a great resource for the westside and residents are going to be really excited to explore this area via biking and walking.”


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