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Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance (RTCA) Program

In-Kind Support to USA Nonprofits, Agencies, Tribes,
and Groups for Local Conservation Efforts

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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U.S. Department of the Interior - National Park Service (NPS)

Deadline Date:



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In-kind support to USA and territories nonprofit organizations, tribes, government agencies, and community groups for recreation and conservation projects throughout the country. Applicants must contact the appropriate regional office before submitting an application. The National Park Service – Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance program (RTCA) supports community-led natural resource conservation and outdoor recreation projects.

NPS projects typically fall within five focus areas, although consideration will be given other projects that fall outside of these categories:

  • Build healthy communities through parks, trails, and outdoor opportunities: Improve access to outdoor recreation and park amenities on land and water that support healthy lifestyles for all users
  • Conserve natural lands, rivers, and watersheds: Strengthen the conservation and stewardship of public lands, waterways, and wildlife habitat
  • Engage youth in outdoor recreation and stewardship: Connect young people to the outdoors to develop a lifelong appreciation of recreation and nature
  • Strengthen the organizational capacity of project partners: Develop and strengthen effective and sustainable community organizations and partner groups
  • Support National Park Service and community networks: Facilitate strategic planning and collaboration between national parks and communities to achieve shared goals

NPS Services: 

NPS assistance is tailored to each organization's needs. Examples of the types of assistance NPS provides are listed below. 

  • Define project vision and goals 
  • Inventory and map community resources 
  • Identify and analyze key issues and opportunities 
  • Engage collaborative partners and stakeholders
  • Design community outreach and participation strategies
  • Develop concept plans for trails, parks, and natural areas
  • Set priorities and build consensus
  • Identify funding strategies
  • Develop a sustainable organizational framework to support the project
  • Create project management and strategic action plans
  • Coaching teams, groups, and partnership networks

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 181356

Term of Contract:

NPS offers this assistance on an annual basis with extensions based on mutual agreement.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Project applicants may be state and local agencies, tribes, nonprofit organizations, or citizen groups. National Parks and other Federal agencies may apply in partnership with other local organizations.

Pre-Application Information:

Application deadline is March 1, 2021.

Consulting a program manager prior to the application deadline is a requirement to help identify how NPS's expertise can complement your project and to answer questions regarding the application


Contact Information:

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

Please email your completed application to the Program Manager for your region and state:

Regional Program Manager Contacts:
State(s) Served: Alaska
- Contact: Zach Babb, Program Manager
- Email:

State(s) Served: California, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, American Samoa, Guam
- Contact: Barbara Rice, Program Manager
- Email:

States Served: Arizona, Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, Wyoming
- Contact: Ericka Pilcher, Program Manager
- Email:

States Served: Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin
- Contact: David Thomson, Program Manager
- Email:

States Served: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands
- Contact: Deirdre Hewitt, Program Manager
- Email:

States Served: Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia
- Contact: Helen Mahan, Program Manager
- Email:

States Served: Washington DC
- Contact: Robin Nixon
- Email:

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

USA Territories: American Samoa (USA)   Guam (USA)   Puerto Rico (USA)   Virgin Islands (USA)

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