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Carolina Thread Trail (CTT) Grants - Implementation Grants

Grants to North Carolina and South Carolina Nonprofits and
Municipalities to Enhance Natural Areas in Eligible Regions

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Carolina Thread Trail (CTT)

Deadline Date:

10/19/18 5:00 PM


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Grants starting at $10,000 to North Carolina and South Carolina nonprofits and government agencies for projects that will help to preserve and enhance natural areas in eligible communities. Applicants should contact the Foundation prior to applying. Funding may be used towards land acquisition, construction, or helping to identify routes and implement trails along the Carolina Thread Trail. The goal of the program will be to help implement greenway systems that connect to neighboring communities and regionally significant attractions, resulting in a network of connected greenways, parks, and preserved natural areas in the following counties:

Anson, Cabarrus, Catawba, Cleveland, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, Mecklenburg, Rowan, Stanly and Union in North Carolina, and Cherokee, Chester, Lancaster, and York in South Carolina.

Eligible projects may cross town, city, and county lines. In fact, grant applications collaboratively submitted by multiple jurisdictions will receive high priority. Projects located partially within the Region and extending into adjoining counties outside the Region are eligible for funding, but grant funds may only be used on the portion of the trail that is located within the Region. However, such projects will be judged by the same collaborative standard as projects located wholly within the Region (i.e. whether they result from collaborative planning efforts and promote connectivity among adjoining jurisdictions).

Program Objectives:

- Help local communities plan and implement trail projects, with a focus on key spines of a connected regional system
- Build the capacity of local communities to develop future greenway projects
- Promote land conservation along trail corridors
- Increase awareness of the benefits of greenways and land conservation
- Promote collaboration and communication among neighboring communities

The Program has been founded upon certain guiding principals and core values, which include:

- Connectivity – Creating connections between communities and historical, cultural, and recreational attractions is important. The Program seeks to create a region known for its “ribbons of green” connecting people to each other and to their heritage. In offering the vision of greater community interaction, the Program seeks to build bonds among communities, as well as afford all residents greater access to the Foundation's natural surroundings.

- Collaboration – Collaboration and communication among the communities is critical to achieving connectivity. The Program aims to encourage a collaborative process by which greenways are conceived and designed in cooperation with adjoining communities in such a way that a regional asset is created out of a series of interrelated local decisions and actions.

- Equity and Inclusivity – Greenways, as regional and local resources, should be free and accessible to all of the residents. The Thread will proactively bring connections and trail benefits to neighborhoods in need. The process of creating an interconnected trail network must be an inclusive one in which many voices contribute.

- Leverage – The Program’s success depends upon generating additional investment of outside capital in the Region’s natural and recreational resources. Carolina Thread Trail grants will complement funds from local, state and federal sources. The Program will assist communities as they develop funding strategies for their segments of The Thread.

- Respect for the Land and for the Landowner - As communities determine the location of their segments of The Thread, they will have alternative routes to consider that include public lands or property owned by willing landholders, including developers who want to offer this amenity to their neighborhoods. It is important to engage landowners in the project to identify opportunities and concerns.

There are three types of Implementation Grants for segments of the Carolina Thread Trail that are ready for implementation:

Corridor Planning Grants:

- Objective: Identify trail alignment on a parcel by parcel basis by working with landowners on a specific segment of The Thread and develop the scope of work required to successfully build the trail.
- Elements of Process: The output of the corridor planning process shall include specific route identification at a parcel level and a scope of work for successful implementation of the proposed project. Important elements include identification of routes of entry, physical obstacles, permitting requirements and identification of potential funding sources. To the extent that land has been secured, site due diligence may be included. The preparation of construction drawings is covered by Construction Grants. In some instances, a community may engage a consultant to perform elements of a corridor plan as well as prepare construction drawings. In such cases it may be appropriate to apply for both a Corridor Plan and a Construction Grant. (please consult with Thread staff).
- Prerequisites: The corridor selected for design should have been identified as a Carolina Thread Trail segment as part of a master planning process. Local community support and active engagement of local partners such as land trusts, nonprofit agencies and local government is very important.
- Applications are enhanced by the degree of additional funding from other public or private sources.

Land Acquisition Grants:

- Objective: Acquire land or easements for segments of The Thread, as well as open space for viewsheds, riparian buffers, wildlife habitats and/or recreation along The Thread.
- Elements of Process: Local governments or nonprofit organizations acquire parcels (fee simple or through easements) that will become segments of The Thread or open space along The Thread.
- Prerequisites: The land being acquired must have been identified as part of, or adjacent to, the Carolina Thread Trail in an adopted master plan.
- Applications are enhanced by the degree of additional funding from other public or private sources.

Construction Grants:

- Objective: Complete construction drawings and build segments of the Carolina Thread Trail.
- Elements of Process: Includes the construction of trail segments. To the extent not previously covered in a design process, site due diligence, permitting, construction budgeting and drawings, as well as actual construction costs, may be included.
- Prerequisites: The trail segment being constructed must have been identified as the Carolina Thread Trail in an adopted master plan. Trail alignment and surface type must be identified, and all parcels must have been secured through acquisition, donation or easement.
- Applications are enhanced by the degree of additional funding from other public or private sources.

Corridor Planning Grants may be used for specific route identification at a parcel level and development of a detailed scope of work for trail implementation. Important elements include identification of routes of entry, physical obstacles and permitting requirements. To the extent that land has been secured, Corridor Planning Grants could include site due diligence. Development of construction drawings is an activity covered by Construction Grants.

Land Acquisition Grants may be used for land acquisition or the purchase of conservation easements or development rights on land that has been identified within a Thread corridor. Projects could also include public parks or nature preserves on The Thread route that would serve as a destination for or be within the view of greenway users.

Construction Grants may be used for construction drawings and construction. Construction costs include project engineering, soil analysis, grading, landscaping, planting, restoration of habitat, benches, signage (including educational and interpretive programming structures or information kiosks), fencing, and parking areas. The Carolina Thread Trail will provide specific guidelines for Thread-related signage and general guidelines for trail surfaces and amenities. Joint applications by adjoining local governmental units are encouraged and will receive high priority.

All Implementation Grants will apply to projects that have been designated as the Carolina Thread Trail through a master plan that has been adopted by local elected officials and ratified by the Carolina Thread Trail Governing Board.

In reviewing applications for Implementation Grants, the following factors are among the most important that will be considered by the Governing Board:
- The degree to which the proposed project meets the Program’s “Guiding Principles”.
- The degree of collaboration among appropriate local governments in planning the project.
- Evidence of local community support for the proposed project and inclusiveness in the planning and impact of the project.
- Appropriate public access to the proposed greenway, and the degree to which the project will serve a broad cross-section of residents in the community.
- The degree to which the proposed project has the potential to provide multiple benefits (e.g. water quality or riparian buffering; alternative transportation).
- The status of land control of the proposed trail and, for some Land Acquisition grants, the likelihood of development absent affirmative conservation efforts by the applicant.
- The availability of public (federal, state and/or local) and/or additional private funds. The applicant should demonstrate either commitments for such funding or a plan to obtain commitments from federal, state and/or local sources. Although public funds are not required, preference will be given where grant funds are leveraged with public funds. Where commitments from public funding sources have not been obtained at the time of the grant application, grant awards will be made contingent upon receipt of such commitments prior to disbursement of any Program grant funds.
- The timetable for the funded project. All implementation projects must be completed within two years after disbursement of grant funds; however extensions may be granted for good cause shown. - The applicant’s ability to successfully complete the proposed project.
- A plan for, and the necessary funding and organizational support for, long-term maintenance of the proposed trail.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 178858

Estimated Size of Grant:

Implementation Grant awards will range from $10,000 to $150,000 with Corridor Planning Grants at the lower end of the range:

- Corridor Planning Grants are up to $20,000. The grant amount will be based upon the scope of work needed to develop the corridor plan.
- Land Acquisition Grants and Construction Grants: Up to $150,000

Term of Contract:

Grant awards will be spread out over several years. All implementation projects must be completed within two years after disbursement of grant funds; however extensions may be granted for good cause shown.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

The Program is intended to assist local governments (municipal or county) and nonprofit organizations partnering with local governments in the following counties: In North Carolina: Anson, Cabarrus, Catawba, Cleveland, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, Mecklenburg, Rowan, Stanly and Union; and in South Carolina: Chester, Cherokee, Lancaster and York.

Grants may not be used for planning, construction or development of parks, historical sites or recreational fields that are not integral to a regionally significant public greenway system. Thus, for example, the following are not eligible for support under these grants: private greenways, schoolyard parks, golf courses, ball fields, soccer complexes, fishing piers, renovation of historical facilities, horticultural or botanical gardens, community gardens, or ornamental landscapes.

Pre-Application Information:

A potential applicant should contact either the Project Director or the Community Coordinator assigned to its community prior to submitting a grant proposal. The staff will discuss the applicant's ideas, answer questions about the Program and help direct the applicant to the grant program which most closely fits the applicant's proposed project.

The Thread Trail accepts grant applications twice per year. Submission deadlines for 2018 are: April 27 and October 19.

Applications are due by 5 p.m.

Local match requirements will be evaluated on a case by case basis.

Grant applications will be evaluated on a quarterly cycle.

Please contact Bret Baronak with any questions the applicant may have about the grants process or to discuss potential projects.

Contact Information:

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

Online application:

Bret Baronak, Community Coordinator
Phone: 704-342-3330 ext. 216

Carolina Thread Trail
4530 Park Road Suite 420
Charlotte NC 28209

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: North Carolina: Anson, Cabarrus, Catawba, Cleveland, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, Mecklenburg, Rowan, Stanly, and Union;   South Carolina: Cherokee, Chester, Lancaster, and York