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Recreational Trails Program (RTP)

Grants to Mississippi Nonprofits, Agencies, and IHEs to
Enhance Motorized and Non-Motorized Trails

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks – Outdoor Recreation Grants (ORG) Division

Deadline Date:

02/08/18 4:00 PM Receipt


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Grants to Mississippi nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and IHEs for the development and maintenance of motorized and non-motorized recreational trails, as well as related facilities. This program encourages the construction of new trails that will benefit the natural environment, as well as the redesign, reconstruction, non-routine maintenance, or relocation of trails that mitigate and minimize the impact to the natural environment.

Eligible Projects
-Maintenance and restoration of existing trails.
-Development and rehabilitation of trailside and trailhead facilities and trail linkages.
-Purchase of trail construction and maintenance equipment.
-Construction of new trails (with restrictions for new trails on Federal lands).
-Development and dissemination of publications and operation of educational programs to promote safety and environmental protection related to trails (including supporting non-law enforcement trail safety and trail use monitoring patrol programs, and providing trail-related training) (limited to 5 percent of a State's funds).
-State administrative costs related to this program (limited to 7 percent of a State's funds).

The purpose of the program is to provide and maintain recreational trails and trails-related facilities identified in, or that further a specific goal of, a Recreational Trails Plan, or the Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP), as required by the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund Act (LWCF).

Project sponsors are encouraged to work in partnership with trail-user groups, volunteer groups, the business community, local, state, and federal agencies to develop projects that benefit the various modes of trail uses in a safe and satisfying manner.

This program is unique in that, legislatively it is specified that the funds must be expended for projects that are strictly motorized as well as projects that are strictly non-motorized, while at the same time encouraging the development of projects that provide for both. The law specifies that 30 percent of the funds must be used for motorized projects, 30 percent for non-motorized and 40 percent for diverse projects that can be utilized by both. Additionally, the MDWFP reserves the right to exceed the maximum grant award amount stated herein, when, in the discretion of the MDWFP, a project of unique scope will require more funding.

Diversified trails as defined by the RTP Advisory Committee are “projects that provide for the greatest number of compatible uses, or provide for innovative recreational trail corridor sharing to accommodate both motorized and non- motorized recreational trail use.”

Permissible Uses:

1. Maintenance and restoration of existing trails.

2. Development and rehabilitation of trailside and trailhead facilities and trail linkage. Facilities could include provision of drinking water, latrines, safety rails, signs, guide maps, benches, vehicle parking areas, etc...

3. Construction of new trails (with restrictions for new trails on Federal lands). National Environmental Policy Act (42 U.S.C. 43231 et seq.), the Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Planning Act of 1974, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1600 et seq.), and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (43 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.).

4. Facilitating access and use of trails by persons with disabilities. The requirements of the Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards (UFAS) and the Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG) must be provided on trails projects to the extent feasible. Whenever possible, trails intended for use by pedestrians should be accessible to people using wheelchairs, whether manual or motorized.

Trail Funding Priorities:

The Recreational Trails Program is an assistance program of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). The Recreational Trails Program provides funds to the State to develop and maintain recreational trails and trail- related facilities for both non-motorized and motorized recreational trail uses. The funds are broken down in the following percentages and projects.

-30% Motorized Projects: Projects that accommodate all-terrain vehicles, trail motorcycles, four- wheel drive vehicles, and other off-road vehicles. (Single Use or Multi-use)

-30% Non-Motorized Projects: Projects that accommodate trail activities such as hiking, equestrian, biking, fitness/exercise, canoeing/kayaking activities, and multi-use pathways. (Single Use or Multi-use)

-40% Diversified Projects: Include both motorized and non-motorized projects that accommodate the greatest number of compatible uses, or provide for innovative recreational trail corridor sharing to accommodate both motorized and non-motorized recreational trail use. (Multi-use)

Funding will be limited for the following items, unless need is fully and completely documented: Lighting, Fencing, Landscaping, Parking, and Restroom Facilities.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 178016

Estimated Size of Grant:

The minimum grant award will be $8,000 and the maximum grant award will be $120,000 for non-motorized projects. There is no cap for motorized projects.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Mississippi provides grants to Municipal Agencies, State Agencies, Federal Agencies, Other Governmental Agencies and Nonprofit tax exempt organizations.

Proposals are encouraged from city, county, state and/or federal agencies, colleges/universities, recreation districts, or nonprofit conservation organizations.

All lands on which RTP funds are expended must be operated and open for use by the general public.

Nonprofit organizations must provide documentation proving the area which funds are to be expended has been operated as an outdoor recreation area, open for public use for at least 5 years and assure the area will continue to be open to the public. Proof of ownership of property on which the RTP funding will be used is required.

Uses Not Permitted:

1. Condemnation of any kind of interest in property.

2. Construction of any trail on National Forest Service lands for motorized uses unless such lands:
(a) have been allocated for uses other than wilderness by an approved agency resource management plan or have been released to uses other than wilderness by an Act of Congress, and
(b) such construction is otherwise consistent with the management direction in such approved land and resource management plan

3. Upgrading, expanding or otherwise facilitating motorized use or access to trails predominantly used by non-motorized trail users, and on which, as of May 1, 1991, motorized use is either prohibited or has not occurred.

4. Planning or environmental documentation only.

Note: Applicants with active RTP projects can not apply for funding for new projects.

The Recreational Trails Program does not fund activities or facilities for non- trail related activities. These include but are not limited to: Baseball, Basketball, Football, Golf, Disc Golf, Tennis, Soccer, Picnic Pavilions, Picnic Areas, Playground Equipment, Amphitheaters, Fishing Piers, Splash Pads, Sidewalks, Streets, etc.

Pre-Application Information:

The program provides 80/20 matching grants.

The RTP is a reimbursement program; therefore, the grant recipient must pay 100% of the cost of an item before submitting a request for reimbursement for 80% of eligible costs.

The program encourages the donation of private funds, materials, and services at fair market value. These donations can be counted toward the applicants required match. However, a project sponsor cannot donate existing materials, or services. The RTP may allow other federal funds, materials, programs (AmeriCorps, etc.), or services to be used as the applicants match. Federal applicants are required to have a 5% (minimum) local/non federal match. The match formula would then be 80%-15%- 5%.

The application shall be received no later than 4:00 PM, Thursday, February 8, 2018.


Interactive Map for RTP Funded Projects - Trailhead:

Contact Information:

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

Terry McDill, Grant Administrator
(601) 432-2227

Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks
1505 Eastover Drive Jackson
Mississippi 39211-6374

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Mississippi