Today Gov. Holcomb announced the Town of Zionsville has been awarded a Next Level Trails Round 2 grant of $1,812,295. This is the first Next Level Trails grant award for the Town. Of the 62 projects submitted for consideration, Zionsville was one of 18 selected in this highly competitive process.
As part of Gov. Holcomb’s broader Next Level Connections initiative, the Next Level Trails Grant program is designed to incentivize collaborative efforts to accelerate trail connections. Efforts are currently in place to complete the Big-4 Rail Trail corridor within Boone County, providing an important regional trail connection.
The focus of Zionsville’s grant is to obtain the remaining parcels of land along the rail corridor, to clear them of brush and debris and to build a 15’ wide paved shared-use trail – effectively completing the Big-4 Trail from Zionsville Road to Whitestown.
“This will make a significant impact in our completion of the Big-4 Rail Trail and allow our allocated funds to extend further into widening the trail and repairing worn asphalt,” said Zionsville Parks and Recreation Superintendent Jarod Logsdon.
This grant will assist the Town of Zionsville in extending the Big-4 Rail Trail in two directions: south to Zionsville Road and north from Heritage Trail Park to the common boundary with Whitestown. Zionsville’s southern portion of the Big-4 Rail Trail ends at the bridge above Eagle Creek. At the north end, the Big-4 Rail trail ends at Heritage Trail Park.
Paving these two extensions will lengthen Zionsville’s existing central Trail by nearly two miles.
“Extending the Big-4 Rail Trail and adding to our 20-mile trail system is a priority,” said Mayor Emily Styron. “The benefit of trails is so varied in terms of our health and wellness, the local economy and environmental stewardship. In addition to this grant, the Wayfinding Master Plan is currently underway which will create a very intentional signage system that will better connect residents and visitors to the Big-4 Rail Trail and other destinations. All of these recreational, tourism and planning initiatives contribute to our sense of place.”