A federal grant worth $100,000 was bestowed upon the Wright Memorial Hospital Foundation last week.  The funds are administered by the Federal Highway Administration, and managed by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

Click to hear KMZU’s Sarah Scott speak with Foundation Development Director Matt Osterthun:

Matt Osterthun

The Foundation submitted their application back in February, and have been waiting ever since. “We did receive some news, about a couple months ago, regarding the grant. That we had gone through some of the hoops and approval process,” said Osterthun, “And then we finally received the green light this past Wednesday to announce that we had indeed been awarded this $100,000 grant.”

The money will be used solely on the walking trail, which will run around the grounds of the new Trenton healthcare center. Osterthun says the contractor will begin as soon as possible, and dirt could be moving by the middle of the week.

“We have high hopes that we can be able to complete the walking trail portion by the end of this year. But of course, if winter comes early or if we have a wet fall, really that shuts it down and we’ll have to get things back going in the spring of 2014.”

In addition to the grant, Wright Memorial Hospital employees and the community have donated about $140,000 for construction of the walking trail.

Press Release from the Wright Memorial Hospital Foundation

Construction will begin next week on the Wright Memorial Hospital Walking Trail, thanks to the receipt of a $100,000.00 federal grant. The Wright Memorial Hospital Foundation, sponsors of the walking trail and memorial garden, has been notified of the award of a $100,000.00 grant from the State of Missouri Recreational Trails Program. The grant is to be used for the construction of the walking trail project around the Wright Memorial Hospital campus. The grant dollars are administered by the Federal Highway Administration and are managed by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and Missouri State Parks.

The WMH Foundation submitted the application back in early February of this year. The concrete based half-mile trail will be utilized by WMH employees, visitors, patients and the community. To date, over $140,000.00 has been raised by WMH employees and Trenton and surrounding communities.

“This is a historic moment for the hospital and this region,” says WMH Foundation Development Officer Matt Osterthun. “Without the initial support from the WMH employees and community, this grant wouldn’t be possible. This grant will allow the $140,000 that has already been raised to go much farther for this important addition to our hospital and community.”

The Foundation is one of fourteen recipients of the grant program in the state of Missouri, which totaled approximately $1.2 million awarded. Applicants were required to complete the twenty page grant application with evidence that matching funds by the organization were available.

“There are hundreds of people that are responsible for this achievement,” says Osterthun. “Whether you donated to the project, bought a brick, ran in the Wright Run or wrote a letter of recommendation of support, we are so thankful for what the citizens of this region have done to make this happen.”

Work is set to begin on the trail as early as the middle of next week. Lighting, sitting areas, and other aesthetics will be implemented in the spring of 2014.

“Missouri’s trails were recently named best in the nation because of the diversity of our trail system and work that has been accomplished to maintain and develop these important resources,” Gov. Jay Nixon said. “These grants will provide the opportunity to continue these efforts and to allow even more Missourians to enjoy their many benefits. I commend the work of the Wright Memorial Hospital Foundation and its supporters in making this project a reality.”

Sponsorships for bricks, tiles, benches, trees and sitting areas continue to be available as construction begins. For those interested in those legacy opportunities need to contact Matt Osterthun at 660-358-5706.