COMMERCE CITY, Colo. (AP/CBS4) – Colorado is getting $2.2 million in federal funds to pay for a new trail link in a Denver-area network, and to improve access to Rocky Mountain National Park and Chimney Rock National Monument.

U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced the grants Monday during a visit to the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge outside Denver.

“I am here to announce that we’re going to provide $1.73 million for seven miles for pedestrian bike trails,” LaHood said.

Most of the money, $1.7 million, will pay for a new trail link in the Rocky Mountain Greenway. The proposed trail and open space network will eventually connect hundreds of trails in the Denver area and provide access between three wildlife refuges -Rocky Mountain Arsenal, Rocky Flats and Two Ponds – as well as Rocky Mountain National Park and community trail systems.

The grant will pay for a seven-mile trial linking Rocky Flats and Two Ponds on the western side of the network. A three-mile eastern trail linking the Sand Creek trail to the Rocky Mountain Arsenal visitor center was recently completed.

Salazar said it’s part of an effort to “create one of the greatest urban parkway systems” in the nation.

“We’re proud of the work we’ve done; to be able to move forward a 21st century conservation agenda that is good for hunters, anglers, for people who love the outdoors,” Salazar said.

LaHood and Salazar also announced that Estes Park will get a $337,000 grant for a 2.5-mile extension of the Fall River Multi-Use Trail System along U.S. Highway 34. The extension will allow pedestrians and bicyclists to travel from the town’s visitor center all the way to the park.

Another $140,000 grant will pay for shuttle service to the summit of the newly designated Chimney Rock National Monument in southwestern Colorado.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.) 


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