HERMON, Maine — The town has been awarded a $21,518  grant that will allow it to expand a community recreational trail in the center of the community, Town Clerk Eric Glidden announced Wednesday.

The grant from the Recreational Trails Program of the Maine Department of Conservation’s Bureau of Parks and Lands will be used to create a recreational path for pedestrians and bicycle riders from Hermon Middle School to Hermon High School, according to Glidden, who wrote the grant application.

He said that the path also will extend to Boulier Place Retirement Community on U.S. Route 2.

If the council accepts the grant and approves the required $8,440 in local investments and in-kind contributions, the work could begin as soon as this spring or summer, Glidden said. The grant, along with the local match, will provide a nearly $30,000 budget for the project, he noted.

According to Glidden, the new portion of Hermon’s trail system would link Hermon’s elementary, middle and high schools to the trail system that was developed in 2004 with funds that also were granted through the Recreational Trails Program.

The project also would supplement the town’s plans to develop a sidewalk along Route 2 that will connect to the existing sidewalk along Billings Road. That sidewalk was installed in July 2010 with funds awarded through the Maine Department of Transportation’s Safe Routes to School Program.

The sidewalks, along with the new walking path, will create more recreational opportunities for Hermon residents and safe walking routes for children heading to and from Hermon’s schools, Glidden said.

“It is important that towns strive to promote health and wellness within their communities, and for Hermon this is a step in the right direction,” he said. “As a town, we have always cherished our rural character that harbors many recreational opportunities just minutes from Bangor.”

The new trail would mark the final phase of the project begun in 2004, when Hermon developed a 1.21-mile trail that included the installation of fitness stations along its route.

Once the trail and the Route 2 sidewalk are completed, residents will be able to complete a walking-biking loop in the center of town, Glidden said.