eMissourian editorial: Missouri should support Rock Island Trail | Editorials - emissourian.com

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Despite some initial opposition, the Rock Island Trail has momentum. Last month Gov. Mike Parson signed a bill creating an endowment that would fund trail development in lieu of just taxpayer dollars. The bill allows for private donations and paves the way for recreational grants to help pay for the trail.

Supporters of the trail say the legislation is critical to paying for the trail, which could cost between $65 to $85 million to build. It also signals the state is behind the project.

You may remember there was opposition when the Katy Trail was first proposed. Today, it is recognized as one of the crown jewels of the Missouri State Park’s renowned system, drawing about 400,000 bikers and hikers each year from across the country and the world.

It has spurred commercial development and generates about $20 million a year for the state’s economy. It has put our state on the map for those who take trail riding seriously.

The proposed Rock Island Trail would complement the Katy and the prospect of being able to access it in our own county is something we should enthusiastically support.

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