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The federal government has awarded Belle Isle a $750,000 grant to help build a 6-mile loop trail on the island.

Detroit is one of 22 cities in 17 states to receive the grant through the federal Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership program. The program divided $13.3 million between selected cities to help states with projects to plan, build and enhance parks in underserved communities, according to a news release Wednesday.

Belle Isle has been planning the trail for nearly a year, after the Michigan Department of Natural Resources meeting in August. The island has been under state control under a 30 year lease since 2014 after Detroit’s bankruptcy.

Belle Isle officials could not immediately be reached Wednesday. According to the DNR’s master plan, the trail would be handicap accessible and connect gaps in the existing trail. It would also pick a location for the southern end of Michigan’s Iron Belle rail, which would link to the western Upper Peninsula.

“Every kid deserves the opportunity to get outside and play,” said U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke. “Whether it's downtown Detroit or rural Wyoming, investing in public lands is an investment in communities. The Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership program is an innovative public-private-partnership which revitalizes communities through improving infrastructure, creating jobs, and enhancing neighborhoods.

“It connects people to the great outdoors by encouraging and enabling a variety of recreational opportunities in underserved communities.”

The Interior Department and the National Park Service awarded the grants.

Congress created the Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership program in 2014. It’s funded through the Land and Water Conservation Fund. A full list of grants given can be found here.

srahal@detroitnews.com

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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