Maine is getting more than $1 million in federal grants for new conservation and outdoor recreation projects, including the purchase of more than 950 acres to create public hiking trails in Windham, New Gloucester and Searsmont.

About half of the money, or $496,000, is being awarded to Windham to buy 697 acres of heavily forested land and build a 1.3-mile universal access trail. The trail, which offers water access and scenic views, will be accessible to visitors of all abilities.

The Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands will get $268,500 to buy and develop 195 acres of land in New Gloucester as part of a new public lands project, Talking Brook, which is home to scenic brooks, waterfalls and an extensive trail network.

The town of Searsmont will get $103,000 to buy 64 acres of undeveloped land along the Georges River and create new outdoor recreational opportunities that aren’t currently available, including a boat launch, picnic area, hiking trails, and 1,700 feet of universal access walking trails.

Wayne will use a $164,000 grant to replace and upgrade two tennis and two pickleball courts.

The grants tap into the National Park Service Land and Water Conservation Fund, which was established in 1964 to support land conservation and urban parks, protect public lands, preserve working forests and ranchlands, and preserve historic and cultural sites.

“This significant federal funding will help conserve the ecology of the land while also giving Mainers access to improved trails,” Maine’s federal congressional delegation wrote in a joint statement announcing the grant award Friday morning.

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