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FHWA Recreational Trails Program for Louisiana (RTPL)

Grants to Louisiana Agencies, Nonprofits, Businesses
for Motorized and Non-Motorized Trail Projects

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, Office of State Parks

Deadline Date:

07/02/18 Postmark or Receipt


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Grants to Louisiana nonprofits, government agencies, and certain commercial organizations for the acquisition and development of recreational trails. Applicants must contact program staff by March 1 to receive further application instructions. Funding may be requested for both motorized and non-motorized trails.

The FRTPL is a state-administered, federal aid grant program (see CFDA RTP 20.219) funded by the National Recreational Trails Fund Act (NRTFA) of 1991 and extended by the Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act, or "FAST Act", of 2015 which will provide funding for our nation’s critical transportation infrastructure including for the purpose of providing and maintaining recreational trails and trail-related facilities.

The program is administered at the national level by the US Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) in consultation with the US Department of the Interior and at the state level in Louisiana by the Lieutenant Governor's Office/Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, Office of State Parks, Division of Outdoor Recreation, Recreational Trails Program with assistance from the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development. NRTFA was established to redirect tax revenues generated from the sale of motor fuel used for off-highway recreational purposes to both motorized and nonmotorized recreational trails and facility improvements.

This program will provide the opportunity to generate innovative solutions for issues facing motorized and nonmotorized trail users and managers in Louisiana. The program will encourage trail projects that work in partnership with trail-user groups, volunteer groups, the business community, AmeriCorps, tribal entities, and local, state, and federal agencies to develop projects that benefit the various modes of trail uses in a safe and satisfying manner with an emphasis on public health and active transportation.

Trail Planning Requirement:

The intent of the National Recreational Trails Fund Act states that the funds should be used for trails and trail-related projects which have been planned and developed under existing laws, policies, and administrative procedures within Louisiana. The projects should further a specific trail-related goal in the current Louisiana

Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP) or in a local/regional strategic and/or comprehensive plan. The SCORP identifies trails and trails development as one of Louisiana’s top five priorities and strategies. The strategy is to develop all types of trails: urban corridor trails, multi-use trails, scenic trails, off-road vehicle trails, nature trails, dedicated use trails, levee trails, rail trails, bike and pedestrian trails, paddling trails, equine trails, etc.

In general, trails provide safe methods of alternative and active transportation, connections to community recreation, opportunities for passive recreation and universal access to recreation. Specific goals are to promote exercise and physical fitness through recreation in our great outdoors and increased utilization of outdoor recreation areas.

Permitted Grant Uses:

A grant recipient may use funds received under this program on actual trail or trail-related projects such as:
-Construction of new trails on federal, state, parish, municipal or private lands (with certain requirements) where a recreational need for such construction is shown.
-Redesign, reconstruction, non-routine maintenance, or relocation of trails in order to mitigate and minimize the impact to the natural environment.
-Surveying, structural design or engineering, inspection, testing or GPS mapping when included with trail development (not to exceed 5% of grant).
-Trail development and renovation activities such as: subgrade preparation, base course installation, soil sterilization, earthwork, erosion control, revegetation, natural and hardened surfacing, and installation of culverts/drainage structures, low-water crossings, bank improvements, retaining walls, guard/hand rails and toe rails.
-Ramps, bridges and/or boardwalks constructed, repaired, or replaced to provide an integral link along a trail and to provide connections between trails.
-Development of trailside and trailhead facilities. This includes trail components or associated facilities which serve the purpose and safe use of the recreational trail, and may include, but are not limited to, the following: drainage, crossings, stabilization, parking, signage, kiosks, lighting, shelters, hitching rails, outdoor /street furniture, bike racks, access controls, gates and fencing, motorized access barriers, water and restroom facilities.
-Providing access and use of trails to persons with disabilities.
-Acquisition of easements for trails or for trail corridors identified in a trail plan.
-Acquisition of fee simple title to trail right-of-way (ROW) property from a willing seller when the objective of the acquisition cannot be accomplished by acquisition of an easement or by other means.
-Construction of new trails crossing federal or state lands where such construction is approved by the administering agency of the state and/or the federal agency or agencies charged with management of all impacted lands. Such approval to be contingent upon compliance by the federal agency with all applicable laws, including the National Environmental Policy Act and the Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Planning Act of 1974, and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act.

Projects selected for funding shall:
-Plan for the needs of the widest variety of trail users and accommodate them safely.
-Follow guidelines of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in providing for trail access and consider the needs of the elderly and families with small children.
-Further a trail-related goal in the Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP) or local/regional strategic/comprehensive plan.
-Include a commitment for maintenance and long-term public access.
-Have written permission and support of land manager(s).
-Include a commitment to starting and completing the project quickly and efficiently.
-Provide for trail construction and use in a manner sensitive to the environment.
-Include a resolution of support (see enclosed examples) from the applicant/project sponsor and/or local government where the trail is located.
-If the applicant/project sponsor is not a local government, the applicant/project sponsor must get a resolution (in addition to their own council, board, etc. resolution) of support from the local government in which the project site is located.
-Solicit Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE) when contracting out work.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 172440

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant:

The minimum (federal share) grant is $10,000 and the maximum is $100,000 for non-motorized projects. The minimum (federal share) grant is $20,000 and the maximum is $159,000 for motorized projects.

Term of Contract:

The project must be completed within one year after the signature date of the Letter of Commitment Agreement.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Grant funding may be provided to nonprofit, governmental or certain commercial entities.

Grant Uses Not Permitted:
-Planning or environmental documentation.
-Condemnation of any kind of interest in property.
-Construction of new trails for motorized use on national forest land that has been recommended for wilderness designation.
-Road construction, sidewalks (on side of roads or streets) except to connect trails and trail elements, gardening/landscaping, park acquisition, playground equipment and spray parks.
-Other items may be subject to review.

Pre-Application Information:

The FHWA Recreational Trails Program for Louisiana (FRTPL) is an 80/20 reimbursable (the grant will reimburse sponsors 80% of eligible costs) matching grant program. The sponsor match can be either cash or value of documented contributions of land, material, equipment, labor or services.

Please call Michael W. Domingue before March 1, 2018 for further instructions if planning to submit an application in 2018 for 2019 awards.

Applications are due in the office or postmarked by July 2, 2018.


Contact Information:

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

Michael W. Domingue
(225) 342-4435

Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism
Office of State Parks
Division of Outdoor Recreation
FHWA Recreational Trails Program for Louisiana
1051 North Third Street, Suite 307
Baton Rouge, LA 70802-5239
P. O. Box 44426
Baton Rouge, LA 70804-4426

Toll Free Phone: 1-888-677-1400
In the Baton Rouge area: 342-8111

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Louisiana