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Grants to Pennsylvania Nonprofits to Improve
Access to Waterways in Eligible Regions

Canoe Access Development Fund (CADF) Grant

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Western Pennsylvania Conservancy (WPC) - Canoe Access Development Fund (CADF)

Deadline Date:

11/30/21 Postmarked


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Grants of up to $4,000 to Pennsylvania nonprofit conservation organizations in eligible regions to improve access to local waterways for recreational purposes. Applicants must contact program staff prior to submitting an application. Funding is intended to make the rivers and streams in Western Pennsylvania more accessible for outdoor recreation such as canoeing, kayaking, and fishing.

CADF projects focus on rivers and streams where people can canoe or kayak, with an emphasis on easier whitewater suitable for novice paddlers. Grants can be used in a variety of ways, including improving existing access, developing new river access, or adding nearby parking areas.

Funding may be used for the following expenses:

  • Parking area(s) for a few vehicles 
  • Creating stabilized access areas and paths to the waterway
  • Purchase of conservation land easement and/or riverside access (where appropriate)
  • Paying for a portion of a larger land tract for access (where appropriate)
  • Upgrading an existing access location (through the above listed methods)

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 163319

Estimated Size of Grant:

Grants provide up to $4,000 for low-profile improvements and a subsequent $1,000 for maintenance over the next decade.

Term of Contract:

Grantees must complete the access site improvement within 12 months from the project start date.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Conservation organization associations with 501(c)(3) nonprofit status in Pennsylvania are eligible. Organizations without 501(c)(3) nonprofit status must identify a qualified nonprofit association to administer the grant’s finances if awarded.

Preference will be given to existing sites or to waterways where previously developed conservation plans, assessments, or water trail programs indicate the need for improved stream recreation access. Indications of need may also come from the current active development of the above.

A proposed new access site must be located along a stream or river described in Canoeing Guide to Western Pennsylvania and Northern West Virginia ( or similar text, or be recognized in the region as a paddling waterway. Preference will be given to Class II and Class III streams.

A previously existing access site seeking improvement(s) must be identified in Canoeing Guide Western Pennsylvania and Northern West Virginia ( or similar text or be recognized in the region as a paddling waterway.

The landowner must be in agreement to allow canoe and kayak access to the site for a minimum of ten years.

Eligible streams must be rated as Class III or below, be substantially free of powerboat traffic, and be canoeable often enough to justify the investment. Proposed access sites should significantly augment existing or planned access capability.

The expectations of these site improvements are for public groups and private landowners to work cooperatively.

Pre-Application Information:

Applications must be postmarked by Nov. 30, 2021, and grant recipients will be notified by January 5, 2022.

Prior to submitting your application, you are required to contact Eli Long, WPC watershed manager (see details below).

Selection Process
- Applications are due by November 30, 2021
- Site reviews will be conducted by WPC’s Conservation staff
- An applicant’s site will be given preference if they are able to provide matching funds, supply volunteers, or supply heavy equipment for the project construction
- Applicants will be notified of selection by January 5, 2022.

While a cash or non-cash match is not required, preference will be given to applications that show local commitment. Non-cash, in-kind contributions are acceptable and may include volunteer time, donated services, or other donated items, such as heavy equipment, which are directly related to the development of the applicant’s project.

The organization applying to the CADF must be committed to maintaining the access site for ten years after the project is completed. The landowner of the property also must agree to allow access and maintenance to occur for 10 years. Projects previously funded by CADF are eligible for an additional $1,000 for post-project maintenance for up to 10 years. For additional information see:

Canoeing Guide to Western Pennsylvania and Northern West Virginia:

Contact Information:

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

Submit one complete copy of your grant application with all attachments and supporting documentation to:

Western Pennsylvania Conservancy
C/o Mr. Eli Long
Canoe Access Development Fund
1067 Philadelphia St, Suite 101
Indiana, PA 15701

If you have any questions concerning the fund, please contact:
Eli Long, WPC Watershed Manager
724-471-7202 ext. 5105

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Pennsylvania: Western region

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