It’s time to invest in a stronger economy, better climate resilience and improved public health for Maine. That’s why I believe our Legislature should pass the Maine Trails Bond this session.

The Maine Trails Bond would provide $30 million over four years in competitive grant funding to towns, organizations and clubs. These funds would support the design, maintenance and construction of trails throughout the state, prioritizing accessibility and sustainable design standards.

By funding new and improved trails throughout our state, we’ll see an incredible return on our investment:

• First, robust, multiuse trails create economic opportunities. Maine’s trails support a wide range of uses that contribute hundreds of millions of dollars annually in economic activity. This is true in the Greater Portland area, but the effects are even more pronounced in Maine’s rural communities.
• Second, trails make our communities more climate resilient. As we begin to see the effects of our changing climate, we can make the choice to invest in infrastructure that supports car-free transportation, like walking, biking, e-biking, rolling and more.
• Third, increased access to trails improves public health. More time in nature and less time in our cars has proven benefits for our physical health. Spending time outdoors also has profound effects on our mental well-being by reducing stress, improving our mood, sparking creativity and supporting social connection.

This is an incredible opportunity that could benefit everyone in Maine. Please join me in urging our legislators to support the Maine Trails Bond.

Jon Kachmar
executive director, Portland Trails

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