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Grants to Missouri Nonprofits, For-Profits, Agencies, IHEs, and Schools for Trail Construction and Maintenance

Recreational Trails Program (RTP) Grants

Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MoDNR)

Agency: State

GrantWatch ID #150134

Grant Description

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Grants to Missouri nonprofits and for-profit organizations, government agencies, IHEs, and schools to expand and improve outdoor trails for public use. Funding is intended to provide and maintain recreational trails and trail-related facilities for both motorized and nonmotorized recreational use. Examples of recreational trail uses include hiking, bicycling, in-line skating, equestrian use, boating, off-road motorcycling, all-terrain vehicle riding, four-wheel driving or using other off-road motorized vehicles.

Eligible projects include:

  • Restoration of existing recreational trails.
  • Development and rehabilitation of trailside and trailhead facilities and trail linkages for recreational trails.
  • Construction of new recreational trails (with restrictions for new trails on Federal lands).
  • Acquisition of easements and property for recreational trails or recreational trail corridors.
  • Assessment of trail conditions for accessibility and maintenance.

The Grants Management Section (GMS) of the Division of State Parks has developed an Open Project Selection Process (OPSP) by which RTP grant project proposals are prioritized and recommended for funding. Missouri’s OPSP has been designed to accomplish the following goals:

  1. Ensure all potential applicants are aware of the availability of and process for obtaining RTP assistance;
  2. Provide opportunities for all eligible entities to submit project applications and have them considered on an equitable basis;
  3. Ensure a fair and equitable evaluation process of all applications for RTP assistance; and
  4. Assure that distribution of RTP assistance is accomplished in a non-discriminatory manner, especially with regard to minority, elderly, disabled, and other underserved populations.

Priority Ranking information can be found at

A list of eligible project types can be found at

Eligible Costs can be found at

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Additional Eligibility Criteria:

The following entities are eligible to apply for RTP funding.
- Not-for-profit organizations, including youth organizations, trail clubs, land trusts, conservation organizations, private schools, and private operators of recreational facilities open to the public.
- Political subdivisions such as cities, towns, counties, school districts, and public utilities.
- State departments and divisions and state public education institutions.
- Federal Agency can only apply for motorized funding.

Eligible projects can be sponsored by partnerships between public and not-for-profit organizations. Additionally, public or not for-profit organizations may sponsor projects on state or federal lands; however, the state or federal land managing agency must provide written support of the project through a letter of support and a draft Memorandum of Agreement. In addition, the proposed project must meet all applicable state and federal laws and be consistent with the land management plans specific to the respective state or federal area. Projects on state property may be subject to the supervision of the Office of Administration, Division of Facilities Management, Design, and Construction per 8.110 RSMo.

Below is a list of ineligible project types:
- Property condemnation (eminent domain).
- Motorized recreational trails on lands designated as federal wilderness or state wild areas.
- Projects to upgrade, expand or otherwise facilitate motorized use or access to existing recreational trails predominantly used by non-motorized recreational trail users.
- Trail feasibility studies. Eligible projects relate to actual on-the-ground trail projects, so a project proposal for the purpose of performing a trail feasibility study would not be eligible.
- Trail planning. A project solely for the purpose of trail planning is not eligible; however, trail planning is an allowable cost of an eligible trail project.
- Roads or sidewalks. A sidewalk may be included as an eligible cost if it links two trails or provides an accessible route to a trailhead or trailside amenity; however, prior approval from DSP is required before including in the project scope.
- Segway or golf cart paths.
- Race tracks or fitness tracks.
- The purchase of vehicles used solely for transportation or law enforcement/security patrolling.

Ineligible Costs include:
- Routine trail maintenance, which includes work that should be conducted on a frequent basis in order to keep a trail in its originally constructed state (e.g., mowing, tree and brush pruning, leaf and debris removal, cleaning and repair of culverts and other drainage structures, etc.).
- Overhead costs that include regular operating expenses, such as building rent and upkeep, utilities, insurance and fixed costs associated with a business, agency or group.
- Indirect costs, which typically represent the regular expenses of doing business. Only costs that are directly related to the project are eligible.
- Law enforcement costs are not eligible.
- Budget contingencies included as budget line items.
- Purchase of vehicles or equipment

Pre-proposal Conference:

Grant Application Workshops:
The RTP Application Webex is scheduled for Jan. 4, 2022, at 9 a.m. An invitation for the Webex will be emailed to you following your registration. If you are unable to attend the application Webex, it will be recorded and posted to this page after Jan. 7.

To register for the application Webex:

More information:

Pre-Application Information:

The deadline to apply is Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2022. Application packets must be postmarked on or before Feb. 16, 2022.

A draft application may be emailed by Jan. 28, 2022, for a courtesy review by grants management staff.

The RTP is a matching grant program, which means the project sponsor shares a percentage of the project cost. The federal share for an RTP grant is a maximum of 80%, thus requiring a minimum match of 20% from the project sponsor. The sponsor’s match can include in-kind contributions and donations.

Additionally, RTP grants are reimbursement grants, which means the grants provide funding to project sponsors after expenses have been incurred. Project sponsors may request up to four partial reimbursement requests a year.

OPSP Timeline:
The OPSP will occur annually, beginning with a call for projects that usually occurs in December of each year. The following is a typical timeline for the OPSP

- December: The OPSP commences with a call for project proposals. The application and application guide are posted on the website. Notices are distributed in a variety of formats to local political subdivisions. Important upcoming dates are posted on the website, as well as a pre-application checklist for potential applicants to begin compiling required supporting documentation.
- January: Application webinars are hosted for project applicants. Draft application are given a courtesy review by GMS staff.
- February: Final application submittals are due by mid- to late-February. GMS staff submits approved applications to the MTAB.
- March: The MTAB reviews, scores and ranks the approved applications.
- April - July: GMS staff and the MTAB meet in early April to discuss project proposals. GMS staff conducts risk assessments and pre-award site inspections of recommended projects to confirm field conditions and applicant capability to perform. A draft list of recommended projects is submitted to the division director for approval.
- August: The draft application packets are submitted to the FHWA for review and concurrence.
- October-November: Once the FHWA has reviewed and concurs with project eligibility, applicants will be notified of the results of the application review process, and sponsors of the approved projects will receive a notice of award and a project agreement. Sponsors are then required to attend a mandatory grant administration workshop. Once all required clearances have been obtained, GMS will request FHWA to obligate funds.

Press Release:

Additional Funding Information:

Estimated Size of Grant:

The maximum amount that can be requested and awarded per project is $250,000 and the minimum grant request is $25,000.

Term of Contract:

Sponsors have three years from date the project agreement is signed to complete their RTP project.

Contact Information:

Mail application packets to:
Missouri State Parks, Grants Management
P.O. Box 176
Jefferson City, MO 65102-0176

Or 1659 E. Elm St., Jefferson City, MO 65101.

For questions about an application packet or the process, call (573) 526-0321 or (573) 751-0848 or email

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