CARSON CITY — The Nevada Commission on Tourism has approved more than $300,000 for grants to promote tourism in the state’s rural areas.

The projects range include an outdoor sculpture park near Beatty, a train and bike trail in Ely and television ads to promote Nevada’s Cowboy Country along the Interstate 80 corridor.

The $301,575 approved earlier this month by the state’s Rural Marketing Grants program is aimed at boosting overnight tourism stays and increasing local community tax revenue.

“Tourism is vital to rural Nevada,” said Lt. Gov. Kate Marshall, chairwoman of the commission.

“The Rural Marketing Grants program helps drive visitation to our rural areas. Tourism not only boosts jobs, but sales and lodging taxes that go right back to the community to pay for roads, schools, and other municipal services,” said Marshall, a Democrat.

The sculpture park near Beatty — known as the Goldwell Open Air Museum — was awarded $3,000. It will be used to promote “Albert Szukalski’s America,” a play about the Belgian artist who created some of the Goldwell sculptures.

A $4,000 grant was awarded to the White Pine County Tourism and Recreation Board to publicize a new train-and-bike experience in the city of Ely — the Nevada Northern Railway. Visitors can ride the train one way with bicycles on board and then bike back on the return trip.

Nevada’s Cowboy Country, an organization that promotes tourism along I-80, got two $15,000 grants to continue its “In Your Backyard” television ad campaign in Salt Lake City and Reno.

A $7,500 grant was awarded to Nevada’s Indian Territory, which promotes the state’s Native American and cultural sites, to upgrade its website.

The Reno-Tahoe Territory, a regional tourism group, received a $12,000 grant to develop online content and an email campaign promoting the area.

Grant recipients must provide 50-50 matching funds or volunteer hours unless a waiver is approved.

The grants are distributed as reimbursements to recipients after projects are completed and labor. Funding details are documented.