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Greenways, Trails and Recreation Program (GTRP)

Grants to Pennsylvania Nonprofits, For-Profits,
Agencies, and IHEs to Expand Parks and Open Spaces

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development

Deadline Date:

05/31/19 Receipt


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Grants to Pennsylvania nonprofits, for-profits, government agencies, IHEs, and watershed organizations to enhance open spaces, recreational areas, and greenways throughout the state. Funding is intended to plan, acquire, develop, rehabilitate, and repair greenways, as well as for recreational trails, open space, parks and beautification projects.

Eligible projects under the GTRP include:
1. Public Park and Recreation Areas – These projects involve the rehabilitation and development of public indoor and/or outdoor park, recreation and conservation areas and facilities. Parks and recreation areas are areas of land and/or water, for use as a neighborhood, community or regional public park and recreation site. Property may be acquired for active and/or passive recreation use to create new park and recreation areas and/or expand existing recreational sites.
2. Greenways and Trails – These projects involve the renovation and development of linear public facilities, such as bicycle, walking, equestrian, snowmobile, and nature trails; passive recreation areas; riparian forest buffers; wetland boardwalks; observation decks. Related support facilities including: access roads, parking areas, walks, comfort station, lighting, landscaping, and signage are also eligible. Greenways are areas of land and/or water which provides a linear recreation, conservation, or open space corridor along a natural or man-made feature. Trails are designated land and/or water corridor with public access that provides recreation and/or alternative transportation opportunities to motorized and/or non-motorized user of all ages.
3. Rivers Conservation – These projects enhance rivers, streams, and watersheds for recreational purposes.

Funds may be used by the applicant to pay for any of the following project costs:
1. Development, Rehabilitation and Improvement of public parks, indoor and outdoor recreation facilities, trails, greenways, and watershed implementation projects.
2. Planning Projects that “lay the groundwork” for future land acquisition, development and/or management of parks, recreational facilities, critical habitat, open space, natural areas, greenways, motorized and non-motorized trails and river/watershed corridors. Planning projects also include the development of business plans for expansion or establishment of outdoor recreation businesses.
3. Acquisition of land, easements, or rights of way for park and recreation areas, natural areas, greenways, trails, river/watershed conservation, critical habitat conservation and/or open space. Natural areas are areas of land and/or water, which are important in preserving flora, fauna, native ecological systems, and geological, natural, historical, open space, scenic or similar features of scientific or educational value. Critical habitats are areas of land and/or water which provides habitat for rare, threatened or endangered plant and animal species or ecological or natural communities which are at risk of destruction or substantial degradation.

For additional information about eligible use of funds, see:

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 142696

Estimated Size of Grant:

Grants shall not exceed a total of $250,000 for any project.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Any of the following entities may apply for a grant under Greenways, Trails, and Recreation Program (GTRP):
1. Municipality – Any county, city, borough, incorporated town, township or home rule municipality.
2. Councils of Governments – An entity organized by units of local government under an intergovernmental agreement, which provides cooperative planning, coordination and technical assistance to its member governments on issues of mutual concern that cross jurisdictional lines, and which does not act under the direction and control of any single member government.
3. Authorized Organization – An entity involved in research, restoration, rehabilitation, planning, acquisition, development, education or other activities, which furthers the protection, enhancement, conservation, preservation or enjoyment of this commonwealth's environmental, conservation, recreation or similar resources. The organization must be a tax-exempt institution under section 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (Public Law 99-514, 26 U.S.C. § 501(c) (3)) and registered with the Bureau of Charitable Organizations or an educational institution involved in these authorized activities or a municipal authority.
4. Institution of Higher Education – An entity that is an accredited university, college, seminary college, community college or two-year college.
5. Watershed Organization – An entity recognized by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) or the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) that was established to promote local watershed conservation efforts in an identified watershed.
6. For-Profit Businesses – other than “producers” of natural gas as defined in Act 13.

Ineligible costs include but are not limited to public relations, outreach, communications, lobbying, litigation, fees for securing other financing, interest on borrowed funds, application preparation fees and other costs incurred prior to the approval of grant funds.

Pre-Application Information:

Applications will be accepted between February 1st and May 31st of each year. All applications and required supplemental information must be received by May 31st.

Projects require a 15% local cash match of the total project cost or cash equivalents for the appraised value of real estate. If using the value of real estate as match, an appraisal not older than 1 year will be required. Match commitment documentation is required to be provided along with the application

All recipients of funding under GTRP will be required to secure all necessary planning and permit approvals for the project from the federal, state, and local governments prior to disbursement of funds.

The Commonwealth Financing Authority charges a $100 non-refundable application fee for Greenways, Trails and Recreation Program applications.

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 technical inquiries regarding the submission of the online application, contact the Customer Service Center at (800) 379-7448 or (717) 787-3405.

Hard copies should be mailed to:
PA Department of Community and Economic Development
Office of Business Financing – CFA Programs Division
Greenways, Trails and Recreation Program
Commonwealth Keystone Building
400 North Street, 4th Floor
Harrisburg, PA 17120-0225

P: (717) 787-6245
F: (717) 772-3581

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Pennsylvania