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Clean Ohio Trails Fund (COTF) Grants

Grants to Ohio Agencies and Nonprofits
to Develop Recreational Trails

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) - Clean Ohio Trails Fund (COTF)

Deadline Date:

02/01/18 Postmarked


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Grants to Ohio local governments, special districts, recreation boards, conservancy districts, and nonprofit organizations for the development of recreational trails. Funding may be requested for trail construction and development, land purchase, trailhead facilities development, planning, and other costs related to trail development.

Types of Eligible Projects:

A. Construction/development of recreational trails;

B. Purchase of land or interests in land for recreational trails;

C. Construction/development of trailhead facilities such as parking, shelters associated with a trail, water, sanitary and access facilities associated with trails, if such facilities are a relatively small component of a trail construction project.

D. Planning, support, or certain non-construction ancillary costs associated with a recreational trail project may be eligible for COTF assistance. These include, but are not limited to, appraisals, title work, surveys, engineering design costs, environmental assessments, and archaeological surveys. All costs must reflect actual grant work that was performed. These costs are not eligible as a standalone project. Costs related to preparing a grant application or grant contract administration are not eligible for reimbursement.

Allowable Costs:

A. Basic Concept

The Clean Ohio Trails Fund is a reimbursable grant program. To be eligible for matching assistance, costs other than design or appraisal costs must be incurred within the project period, stipulated by a signed project agreement.

B. Construction/Development Projects

Upon receipt of a signed project agreement provided by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, development/construction costs are eligible for reimbursement and are incurred at the start of actual physical work on the project site. Initial master plan costs are not eligible, but applicable construction drawings may be eligible.

C. Acquisition

Acquisition costs are eligible for reimbursement if incurred after the COTF grant contract is executed or if incurred within two years of the date of COTF grant application with an approved Waiver of Retro Activity. Acquisition costs are considered to be incurred on the date when the earliest of any of the following takes place:

1. Participant accepts deed, lease (the lease must be for the minimum of 15 years and be non- revocable) or other conveyance
2. Participant makes full payment for the property
3. Participant makes first payment in a series of payments

Costs of acceptable appraisals and valid incidental costs for the project are eligible for reimbursement only if the grant is approved.

COTF does allow for a waiver of retroactivity. If a grant applicant or potential applicant must purchase a property during a limited window of opportunity before the grant application deadline, or execution of grant agreement, the applicant may make a written request to ODNR for a Waiver of Retroactivity. The applicant must provide a location map, a to-scale, dimensioned property map and a description of the circumstances necessitating a purchase prior to grant application or award announcement.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 169259

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Term of Contract:

Do not start your project until you have entered into formal agreement with the ODNR. You should plan to complete your project within 15 months of entering into formal agreement with the ODNR.

Construction drawing costs must be incurred within two years of the date of COTF grant agreement.

Acquisition costs are eligible for reimbursement if incurred after the COTF grant contract is executed or if incurred within two years of the date of COTF grant application with an approved Waiver of Retro Activity.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

COTF funding is available to: Cities, villages, counties, townships, special districts such as park districts, joint recreation boards, or conservancy districts, jointly sponsored projects between political subdivisions, and nonprofit organizations.

Ineligible COTF Projects:
A. Appropriation of land, rights, right-of-way, franchises, easements or other property through the exercise of the right of eminent domain.
B. Non-capital costs associated with a trail project (Ex. master planning, administration costs, trailheads, Etc.).
C. Maintenance costs for trails
D. Purchase or long-term lease of recreational trail construction and maintenance equipment
E. Projects with a useful life of less than 15 years.
F. Enhancements to existing trails

Examples of Projects Not Eligible for Funding:
-Law Enforcement
-Feasibility Studies
-Promotional Items
-Legal Fees
-Picnic Facilities
-Traffic Signals
-Playground Equipment
-Concrete Trails
-Roads & Road Work
-Condemned Land
-Golf Cart Trails

Pre-Application Information:

The amount of funds furnished from the COTF for project sponsors will be up to 75 percent of the total approved project costs. The remainder of the cost will be borne by the project sponsor (applicant).

The COTF will operate on a reimbursement basis; meaning a project sponsor must have sufficient cash, donations, or eligible in-kind services to pay for work to be completed, and then be paid back the grant percentage after the sponsor has documented payment for proper eligible work.

The 2018 Clean Ohio Trails Fund grant application deadline will be February 1, 2018. All 2018 grant applications must be postmarked by February 1, 2018.

Contact Information:

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

D'Juan S.M. Hammonds, MPA

Office of Real Estate
2045 Morse Road, Building E-2
Columbus, Ohio 43229-6693

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Ohio