LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Benton-area outdoor enthusiasts received good news with the announcement of funding to expand its around-the-city trail system.

The City of Benton’s Parks and Recreation Director Stephanie Jones announced Wednesday that the department had received $400,000 in CARTS 2022 Surface Transportation Program Block Grant Funds from the Metroplan Board. The money is to reimburse the city for the engineering of the Greenway Project section of the Benton Belt.

The Benton Belt is a 13.5-mile trail system around the city, with connections to city parks and planned connections to other cities. The Greenway Project is a western leg of the belt, a 4.5-mile spur along the Saline River and Salt Creek.

When the Greenway Project is completed it will be called the Saline River Greenway.

“We are excited to work towards connectivity within Benton and our parks system,” Jones said.

The parks department will match the Metroplan grant with $100,000, Jones said.