The Flyway Trail — a project focused on creating a 50-mile non-motorized trail that connects Minnesota and Wisconsin — has received a $1.2 million Federal Lands Access Program grant for its second phase.
David Schmidt, who is working with Buffalo County and the Flyway Trail board of directors, said in a release that these grants are provided to help with improving transportation facilities within federal lands.
Organizers wrote Tuesday, “All landmark projects have many working behind the scenes to make them a reality. The leadership shown by the Buffalo County Economic Development Committee to seek federal funding to complete Phase II connecting to The Great River Trail is exceptional. Their foresight resulted in Buffalo County receiving a $1,200,000 award to complete the trail without the need of additional local tax dollars for this portion of the trail.”
Campaign co-chair Jim Wilkie said in a release, “We could not be more pleased with this news in how the FLAP grant award coincides with our successful private campaign.”
The project has raised $771,000 so far, approaching the amount needed for a $245,000 matching challenge grant.
The challenge grant was offered to the capital campaign by WNB Financial, Merchants Bank, Alliance Bank, Castlerock Foundation and two anonymous donors.
So far, donations have been accepted from about 60 individuals, corporations or organizations.
The Flyway Trail project was originally formed to help create a new path between Alma and Trempealeau, Wisconsin. The connector to Winona, supported by the Bridging the Bluffs campaign, was decided upon to help support communities on both sides of the river.
Organizers expect both economic development in Winona and improvement in the workforce because of this connection, Dave Adcock, co-chair of the communications committee for the Bridging the Bluffs Campaign, said in February.
The connector bridge in Winona already has been completed.