March 17, 2023
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King today announced that Maine will be receiving a total of $542,805 in federal funding to expand outdoor recreation opportunities at two sites. The town of Yarmouth is receiving $361,830 to make significant renovations at Royal River Park, and the town of North Berwick is receiving $180,975 to create a recreation area at Bauneg Beg Mountain South.
The funding comes from the National Park Service’s Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) that has long been supported by both Senators and was reauthorized in the Great American Outdoors Act – legislation introduced and negotiated by Senator King, the Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on National Parks, and cosponsored by Senator Collins.
“Whether it’s a weekend trip to the mountains or a morning walk in the fresh Maine air, outdoor spaces improve quality of life across our state,” said Senators Collins and King. “This funding to expand outdoor recreation will help more Maine people get outside, live healthy lives, and enjoy the natural wonder that surrounds us all. We’re proud to support the LWCF and look forward to seeing these new and improved conserved spaces that will be available to the public for generations to come.”
The funding was allocated as follows:
· $361,830 – for the town of Yarmouth to renovate and modernize Royal River Park. The town will improve parking, add lighting, enhance landscaping, reroute walking paths for improved ADA access, upgrade a footbridge, and reconstruct existing tennis courts.
· $180,975 – for the town of North Berwick to acquire and develop 60.8 acres of property for recreation on Bauneg Beg Mountain South. Development includes a gravel parking area, signage and informational kiosk, and construction of trails.
The LWCF was established in 1964 to support land conservation and urban parks. The program works in partnership with federal, state, and local efforts to protect land in our national parks, national wildlife refuges, national forests, national trails, and other public lands; to preserve working forests and ranchlands; to support state and local parks and playgrounds; to preserve battlefields and other historic and cultural sites; and to provide the tools that communities need to meet their diverse conservation and recreation needs.
Senators Collins and King have been longstanding advocates for preserving Maine and America’s public lands. In August 2020, the Great American Outdoors Act, led by National Parks Chairman King and supported by Senator Collins, was signed into law. This bipartisan legislation provides full, permanent funding (at no cost to taxpayers) for the Land and Water Conservation Fund and addresses the deferred maintenance backlog at our national parks, national wildlife refuges, and national forest lands.