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Capital City Trail

Dane County communities can now apply for grants to connect local bike trails to the county's extensive system.

Communities in Dane County who want to connect local bike trails to the county's extensive system can get funding to help pay for projects.

The PARC (Partners for Recreation and Conservation) and Ride grant program will provide up to 50 percent of a project's cost to local communities to help offset the cost of bike trail design, engineering and construction.

Dane County Executive Joe Parisi said the grant program is now accepting applications for the $500,000 in grant money included in the 2018 county budget.

"Dane County has some of the best bicycle trails in the country," Parisi said. "Access to see and enjoy our landscapes is one of the many reasons people love living in Dane County."

To be eligible for funding, trail projects must provide a regional trail connection as identified in the Dane County Parks and Open Space Plan.

Eligible projects include the development of off-street shared-use trails, including amenities and support facilities such as trail heads and parking areas, signage and safety facilities.

Projects will also be expected to use bicycle wayfinding signage.

The PARC program started in 2011 and has provided $2.8 million in county money for developing bike facilities.

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Bill Novak is a general assignment reporter for the Wisconsin State Journal.