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Trail Construction Grant Program

Grants to New Jersey Municipalities in Eligible Locations
to Improve Recreational Pathways and Trails

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Morris County Park Commission and Morris County Office of Planning and Preservation

Conf. Date:


LOI Date:


Deadline Date:

07/30/21 4:00 PM


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Grants to New Jersey municipalities in eligible locations for improvements to local outdoor pathways and trails. Applicants are required to submit a completed letter of intent and meet staff prior to submitting an application. Funding is intended for design, permitting, and minor and major construction. Municipalities must be located in Morris County.

The recreational trail use opportunities created by the program will support cultural tourism efforts and enhance the quality of life for the residents of Morris County. The program will rely upon local communities and their government representatives to provide inspiration, planning, and commitment, as well as meeting the matching funds requirement, to make these trail projects a reality.

Permissible Uses and Eligible Projects:

  1. Phase 1 - Design & Permitting – grant funding provided to prepare engineering documents and obtain permits necessary to prepare construction documents for trail project.
  2. Phase 2 - Minor Construction – grant funding provided to construct smaller simpler types of trail projects. Specific criteria apply.
  3. Phase 2 - Major Construction – grant funding provided to construct larger more complex types trail projects

The above categories can be used for either new trail construction or trail enhancement projects. Trail enhancement projects are improvements of trail design and/or surface type of existing trails to accommodate increased capacity and/or make the trail ADA compliant. Trail Enhancement is more than an in-kind replacement of current conditions, and is not intended to address deferred maintenance issues.

Required Qualifications:

The land on which the trail is to be funded must be:

  1. Located in Morris County
  2. Owned by the municipality, in full and/or via permanent easements on which trail(s) are to be located.
  3. Permanently preserved public parkland or private land with permanent easements dedicated for public trail/recreational use. 

The Phase 1-Design & Permitting Grant category provides funding to prepare a project design. Details can be found at

Phase 2 Construction Grant eligible costs can be found at

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 190348

Estimated Size of Grant:

The minimum grant amount is $5,000 for all of the funding categories. The maximum grant award for Design & Permitting is 15% of estimated construction costs. The maximum grant award for Minor Construction is $70,000. The Major Construction funding category limit is defined as “no one award shall receive more than 60% of the funds available during each year’s funding cycle”. However, this exception can be waived if the project is deemed to be a regionally significant project.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Any of the thirty-nine municipalities in the County of Morris, New Jersey are eligible to apply.

Various aspects of project development are not eligible for funding as part of this grant program; they include but are not limited to the following:
1. Land Condemnation
2. Land Acquisition
3. Permit Fees
4. Planning
5. Sidewalks
6. Improvements or construction to roads
7. Running tracks
8. Law enforcement
9. Purchase of equipment
10. Deferred Maintenance
11. Administrative and grant preparation fees
12. Lighting

Pre-proposal Conference:

All applicants are encouraged to attend the Program Workshop on Thursday, May 6 to learn more about changes and the 2021 Trail Grant application process. Pre-registration is required to attend. Contact the Program Administrator Denise Chaplick to register for this event.

Thursday May 6, 2021, 1pm: Trail Grant Program Workshop, via Webex - join online or call +1-408-418-9388, Meeting number (access code): 132 061 6676

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Pre-Application Information:

These deadlines must be met for consideration for the 2021 Trail Grant Program:
- Schedule and attend Pre-Application Meeting with Program Administrator prior to application deadline, July 30, 2021.
- By June 30, 2021 (Wednesday) – submit Letter of Intent along with all supporting documentation by 4:00 P.M.
- By July 30, 2021 (Friday) – submit completed application specific to type of project - P1 (design) or P2 (construction) at 4:00 PM

All applicants are required to attend Pre-Application Meetings so that staff can guide your project accordingly, simplify the application process, and familiarize you with details of the program. Pre-Application Meetings will be scheduled from May through July 2021. All Pre-Application Meetings will be held virtually. Contact the Program Administrator Denise Chaplick to schedule.

A minimum of 20% match is required. The match can be in the form of cash, other grant sources or in-kind services both of which require verification with the application.

The program will operate on a reimbursement basis.

2021 Trail Construction Grant Application Process:

Contact Information:

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

Submit LOI electronically to

Address your applications to:

US Mail
Denise Chaplick, Trail Grant Program Administrator
P.O. Box 1295
Morristown, NJ 07962-1295

In-person delivery or overnight use:
Denise Chaplick, Trail Grant Program Administrator
300 Mendham Road
Morristown, NJ 07960

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: New Jersey: Morris County

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