Eldridge Park Trail gets support from Great American Trails Grant

Pictured (L-R) during a recent ribbon cutting ceremony were Joe Chesser, Sam Jones, Karen Glynn, Phil Martin, Himesh Gandhi, Bill Roy, Jennifer May, Paul Barnett, Harish Jajoo, Joe Zimmerman, Don Smithers, Jim Browne, Sunny Sharma, Gene Reed, Kimberly Terrell, Bridget Yeung, Merle Smithers, and Karen Daly.

Sugar Land recently completed the expansion of Eldridge Park Trail, a project supported with a $15,000 Great American Trails grant from the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) and the Darden Foundation.

Sugar Land was one of eight communities to receive a 2012 grant and used the funds for enhancements that included benches, trail signage and trash receptacles along the mile-long trail. The grant was transferred from NRPA (a national non-profit organization dedicated to advancing park, recreation and conservation efforts) and the Darden Foundation (the charitable arm of Darden Restaurants, Inc.) to the City through the Sugar Land Legacy Foundation.

The grant-funded amenities enhanced a city-funded project to lengthen the trail at Eldridge Park.

“Thanks to the Darden Foundation, the NRPA and the Sugar Land Legacy Foundation, residents can now enjoy longer, leisurely strolls along Eldridge Park’s newly expanded walking trail,” said Director of Parks and Recreation Jim Browne. “Local parks and trails are community resources supporting conservation and environmental sustainability. The Great American Trails grant helped improve the infrastructure at Eldridge Park and contributed to the multitude of benefits our trail system provides the community.”

LongHorn Steakhouse, a division of Darden Restaurants, Inc., helped secure Sugar Land’s grant.

Trails in Sugar Land are intended to contribute to a more interconnected community and foster active modes of transportation such as walking and biking. They also protect, sustain and restore open spaces – making the community more livable and improving the quality of life.

The Sugar Land Legacy Foundation, a private non-profit organization established in 2010 to create a vehicle for sustainable charitable and planned donations for parks and civic facilities in Sugar Land, facilitated the grant from the Darden Foundation. Contributions to the Legacy Foundation support the City of Sugar Land’s acquisition, ownership, construction, development, improvement, operation or maintenance of land and facilities. This includes capital projects and funds supporting activities for recreation, entertainment, sports, the arts or similar activities that might benefit the citizens of Sugar Land.

For more information on the Sugar Land Legacy Foundation, call (281) 980-8981 or visit www.sugarlandlegacy.org. For more information about the Great American Trails program, visit www.nrpa.org/greatamericantrails.

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