Olmito Nature Trail receives $200,000 state grant

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Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

The Olmito Nature Trail project has received a development grant from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to be used to help pay for a half-mile granite trail with benches, signage and a trailhead.

The $200,000 grant follows a larger, $750,000 grant, awarded for the Olmito Nature Park project in March.

Olmito Nature Park will be the tenth county community park when it opens. The site is south of the village of Olmito and borders a resaca system called Lake Olmito Resaca, with 3,240 feet of waterfront.

The project eventually will include nature trails, fishing piers, birdwatching overlooks, greenspace, an educational pavilion, playgrounds, interpretive signage, picnic shelters, butterfly gardens and more.

Also planned for the park, which will be developed in stages, are a kayak launching area an indoor facility, concession areas and an RV site.

In 2019, Frank Michael McKinney and Jane E. McKinney donated 39.16 acres to Cameron County which will form the basis of Olmito Nature Park. The location of the property is between Brownsville and Rancho Viejo.

The latest grant is part of $4.8 million to fund 17 motorized and non-motorized trail related projects statewide.

The state Sporting Good Sales Tax provided $1 million of the total grant funding through the Recreational Trails Program passed by the 82nd Texas Legislature. The rider increased the total amount of funded projects this year.

The National Recreational Trails Fund supports recreational trail construction, renovation and acquisition. The grants are funded from a portion of the federal gas tax generated by gas purchases for off-highway vehicles.

Thirty percent of the total NRTF grants must be earmarked for motorized recreational trails, while another 30 percent must be spent on non-motorized trail projects. The remaining 40 percent is discretionary.