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Greater Minnesota Regional Parks and Trails Commission (GMRPTC) Grant

Grants to Minnesota Local Governments
to Develop Outdoor Recreational Areas

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Greater Minnesota Regional Parks and Trails Commission (GMRPTC)

Deadline Date:

07/31/20 11:59 PM


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Grants to Minnesota local governments in eligible locations for the enhancement and expansion of recreational trails and parks. Funding is intended to support restoration and development projects as well as related land acquisition to improve existing trails and parks, trail systems, and infrastructure that are of importance on a statewide or regional level. Local governments located outside the seven-county metropolitan area are eligible to apply for funding.

Considerations for Funding

The following application guidance outlines the Commission’s goals for funded facility projects:

  1. Requests are evaluated based on their ability to provide a high-quality experience, serve a regional population or visitor destination, enhance connectivity, fill a critical gap in a recreational opportunity, and show a relationship to the Master Plan. Requests are further evaluated based on the applicant’s response to the funding application requirements.
  2. Takes advantage of one-time opportunities to expand or enhance an existing park or trail, or opportunities that may require larger-than-normal fund allocations.
  3. The Four Legacy strategic directions (PILLARS) are given high consideration: connect people to the outdoors; acquire land, create opportunities; take care of what we have; coordinate among partners, i.e. funding matches, cooperative projects. Applications must align and clearly articulate their tie to one or more pillars.
  4. Funding is further evaluated with regard to: connecting multiple destinations such as existing parks and trails; securing a critical piece of a trail system; investment in restoration of aging infrastructure; meeting Connecting People to the Outdoors criteria; and accessibility opportunities.
  5. Take a balanced approach across the system to support a range of parks and trails needs—from acquisition, to development, to taking care of what we have, to restoration, and programming.
  6. Selecting projects that meet the geographic diversity of the state, as well as leveraging other funding sources, should be taken into consideration; a local match is a significant factor in this consideration.
  7. Project components that are ineligible costs will not be considered as a part of the funding request.
  8. At the Commission’s discretion, projects may be approved for grant funding that do not fit within current grant guidelines; innovation and exploring the potential to expand outdoor recreational user groups will be considered.

Connecting People to the Outdoors funding is available to cities and counties with regionally designated parks and trails. Funds may be used for agencies or contracts to deliver programming and/or improved accessibility to outdoor recreation based out of the regional park or trail. For the criteria, see:

Special Funding Opportunity

For Fiscal Year 2022, the GMRPTC is allocating $250,000 for Connecting People to the Outdoors programming and disadvantaged population accessibility projects, as defined by the Funding Guidelines and Criteria. Projects must be tied to at least one regionally designated facility. The Commission reserves the right to refuse all or any projects under this classification if the applications do not fulfill the criteria adequately. If the full allocation of funds is not used, remaining funds will be re-allocated towards the complete pool of project applications.

For a detailed list of eligible Park Funding Projects, Recreation Facilities, Recreation Support Facilities, and Trail Funding Projects, Park and Trail Reimbursement Expenses, and Connecting People to the Outdoors Programming Expenses, see:

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 137254

Term of Contract:

Grant contract period starting after July 1, 2021, terminating June 30, 2024.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Any City or County in Greater Minnesota (80 counties, excluding the seven county metropolitan area) that has been formally designated as Regionally Significant by the Commission (based on the definitions and criteria as described in the Greater Minnesota Regional Parks and Trail Strategic Plan and related documents) is eligible to apply for funding.

For a detailed list of Ineligible Park and Trail Projects and Reimbursement Expenses, see:

Pre-Application Information:

Funding Application:
Opens: April 1, 2020
Deadline: 11:59 PM, July 31, 2020

Designation Application:

Application Toolbox:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply online:

For questions and for technical assistance, contact System Plan Coordinator Joe Czapiewski at

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Minnesota: Counties and cities outside the seven-county metropolitan area

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