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2021 Tennessee Appalachian Trail License Plate Grant Program

Grants to Tennessee Organizations to
Preserve and Improve Local Hiking Trails

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC)

Deadline Date:



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Grants of up to $5,000 to Tennessee organizations for the conservation and enhancement of local hiking trails. Funding is intended to support physical and construction projects, capacity building projects, education and outreach, natural heritage and environmental monitoring projects, start-up funding for major public service projects, major one-time needs, and Appalachian Trail community partnerships.

Tennessee A.T. License Plate Grant Program:

Each year, the ATC uses funds from the sale of Tennessee A.T. license plates to provide grants to organizations and individuals who are working to help fulfill the ATC’s mission within the state of Tennessee and along its common border with North Carolina. This unique grant program helps ATC fulfill its mission for the portions of the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) that lies either in Tennessee or near the Tennessee-North Carolina border. ATC’s mission is multi-faceted and broad in scope: To preserve and manage the Appalachian Trail, ensuring that its vast natural beauty and priceless cultural heritage can be shared and enjoyed today, tomorrow, and for centuries to come. 

A wide range of grant proposals can be considered, but it is imperative that all applicants show how implementing the proposal will benefit the Appalachian Trail in Tennessee. Examples of types of projects that would be considered include:

  1. Physical projects
  2. Start-up funds for major public-service projects
  3.  Major one-time financial needs
  4. Projects to enhance long-term A.T. management abilities
  5. Natural heritage and environmental monitoring projects
  6. Education and outreach
  7. A.T. Community partnerships

Examples of types of projects within each of the above categories can be found at

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 176571

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant:

Grant requests may not exceed $5,000.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

All grant funds must be spent within Tennessee (unless specific supplies, services and equipment are not available in state). Projects eligible for grants must document that implementing the project will enhance, educate, conserve, protect, and/or maintain the portions of the A.T. located in Tennessee or near the TN-NC border.

Pre-Application Information:

Applications for the 2021 TN A.T. License Plate Grant Program are due by Friday, January 8, 2021.

Applications will be reviewed in January and February, and applicants will be notified of the status of their applications on or before March 1, 2021.

Project Endorsement: No projects along the A.T. will be funded without agency and club endorsement. Agency and Club Endorsement Forms should be submitted to ATC in the same email as the Grant Application form. Applicants must submit the ‘Agency Endorsement Form’ to the appropriate Federal land managing agency for the area where project work will occur and submit the ‘Club Endorsement Form’ to the local A.T. maintaining club. (Please submit each of these 2 forms along with a draft of your application to inform the Federal agency and local A.T. club about the project.) Applicants are encouraged to seek endorsements at least four weeks prior to the application deadline.

If your project involves new facility construction, please coordinate the project with the ATC Southern Regional Office and the appropriate agency.

Special Use Permit: Projects may also require a Special Use Permit (SUP) from the USDA Forest Service or National Park Service. Contact the appropriate agency to learn requirements. The federal SUP process can take up to 60 days to complete. In order for this proposal to be considered, all required SUPs must be approved or pending approval at the time of application.

Matching Requirement: Applicants are expected to provide matching contributions with labor, money, or in-kind goods. The match should be at least half the value of the amount of grant funds requested. A higher level of matching funds is a positive grant evaluation factor.

Contact Information:

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

Please email applications to

For questions and assistance with preparing the proposal, call (828) 254-3708 or email the address above.

Appalachian Trail Conservancy Headquarters
799 Washington Street
PO Box 807
Harpers Ferry, WV 25425-0807

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Tennessee

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