In celebration of National Trails Day, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks will present the Musselshell Valley Community Foundation with its Montana Trail of the Year Award at 12:00 p.m., Friday, June 4, 2010, at the RiverWalk Heritage Trailhead, just east of Roundup. The Foundation’s Arts & Culture Committee, which is responsible for the bulk of work on the trail, will accept the award.
“We will also recognize the City of Roundup, Musselshell County, the Montana Arts Council, and the Montana Community Foundation as cooperating partners,” said Beth Shumate, FWP Trails Grant Coordinator. “Local community spirit definitely had a hand in this project.”
Due to dedicated and ambitious community members, including Bill Milton and Elizabeth and Wilbur Wood, work on the Roundup RiverWalk Heritage Trail began in 2000 after this small group of concerned citizens began developing partnerships and initiating the planning process to secure grant funding.
“The RiverWalk Heritage Trail project has been an amazing journey. The work has resulted in cooperation and team-building between city and county officials, and the Arts and Culture Committee of the Musselshell Valley Community Foundation,” said Bill Milton.
The trail now stretches approximately three miles. It begins on the east side of Roundup and travels along the Sandstone Breaks and Musselshell River corridor. Since 2001, the Musselshell Arts & Culture Committee has written three successful RTP grant applications, resulting in approximately $80,000 in funding for this project.
"What Roundup has accomplished in the last decade is inspiring. It shows the RTP program can help even small communities develop great trail systems,” said Shumate.
The Recreational Trails Program, administered by FWP, provides grants for such projects as trails ethics education, urban trail linkages near homes and work places, maintenance of front-country and back-country trails, trail-related weed control, restoration of areas damaged by trail use, and the development of trailside and trailhead facilities. The deadline for the next cycle of funding for the Recreational Trails Program grants is July 1, 2010.National Trails Day is celebrated each year on the first Saturday of June. People are encouraged to get out and enjoy trails during this nationwide day of celebrating these important community assets. Many Montana state parks and other public agencies organize events such as guided hikes and volunteer work days.