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Recreational Trails Program (RTP) Grants

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

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MoDNR)

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

02/24/21 Postmarked


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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.
  • Purchase or lease of recreational trail construction and maintenance equipment. 
  • 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.

For additional information about eligible projects, see:

 Scoring criteria places emphasis on:

  • How the project aligns with a priority listed in local or regional master plan, or Missouri’s Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP);
  • Whether the project demonstrates strong public support and indication of need, solicited through public comment forums;
  • Whether and how the project addresses accessibility and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA);
  • Environmental factors, sustainability considerations and safety concerns that have been addressed or incorporated into the project’s design;
  • What assurances the project sponsor can provide that there is adequate funding and manpower to complete the project within the established timeframe;
  • What assurances the project sponsor can provide that the project will be managed and maintained in public use for 25 years; and
  • Whether the project sponsor is partnering with qualified youth service organizations or other partners or donors to complete the project.

For information about eligible cost categories, see:

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 150134

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.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

The following entities are eligible to apply for RTP funding:
- Both for-profit and not-for-profit private organizations, such as 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.

Eligible projects can be sponsored by partnerships between public and private organizations. Additionally, public or private organizations can sponsor projects on state or federal lands; however, the state or federal land managing agency must provide written support of the project through a 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.

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 used solely for transportation or law enforcement/security patrols.

Pre-proposal Conference:

In addition to the RTP Project Application Guide, GMS staff provides technical program assistance to all potential applicants via livestream webinars. The webinars assist with the grant application process by providing instruction and guidance for filling out the application and by describing supporting documentation requirements. Recordings of the webinars are also subsequently made available on the division’s website at

The RTP Application Workshop will be Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. The workshop will be an Adobe Connect Virtual Webinar. To register for the workshop, please email your name, phone number and sponsor’s name to the funding source (see Contact Information below).

Pre-Application Information:

A draft application may be sent to Grants Management Section staff by Jan. 31, 2021, for a courtesy review. Mail two copies of the application plus all supporting documents in the application packets. Application packets must be postmarked on or before Feb. 24, 2021.

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.

Grant recipients will be required to attend a mandatory project administration workshop, where they will receive a copy of the FY2020 RTP Project Administration Guide and a copy of the Sub-Recipient Informational Form.

Additional information:

Contact Information:

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

Mail application packets to:

Missouri Department of Natural Resources
Division of State Parks
Grants Management Section
Attn: RTP Planner
PO Box 176
Jefferson City, MO 65102-0176

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

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Missouri

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