Recreation Trail Grants

Governor Announces $500,000 Available for Recreation Trails
Grant program expands outdoor opportunities for Vermonters

Montpelier, Vt. – Governor Jim Douglas today announced $500,000 in funding will be available for the 2010 Recreation Trails Program. Vermont’s Recreational Trails Program is a matching grant program of the federal Highway Administration for the acquisition, development, rehabilitation and maintenance of trails, and trail-related facilities, for non-motorized, motorized, multiple-use or compatible recreational trail use.

“These grants provide opportunities for Vermonters to spend more time outdoors on our trails and they encourage outdoor activity and healthy living,” said Governor Douglas. “By improving access to public lands and waters, these grants also support both local tourism and recreation businesses.”

The deadline for grant applications to the Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation is January 15, 2010. All applications are reviewed and ranked by a five-member citizens’ committee based on established criteria.

Grants up to $20,000 will be awarded for trail project work that will result in helping to achieve desired outcomes identified in local, regional, and state plans including established goals for recreation, transportation, agriculture, natural resources, economy, education, and health. A 20 percent sponsor-match is required for all projects, except for mini-grants, which require no local match.

Mini-grants up to $500 are available to municipalities, nonprofit organizations, community or civic groups, and educational institutions and are intended specifically for small-scale trail projects to enhance or sustain community trails. Funds can be used to purchase trail tools, safety equipment, professional trail training and trail-related educational materials for the public, trail markers and signage. Projects should pose no historical or environmental impact, and must include a community service or youth involvement element.

Grants may be used for trail restoration, construction or reconstruction of multi-use trails, trail linkages, trailside amenities, trailhead facilities, bridges, railings, ramps, retaining structures, accessible features which facilitate access to and use of trails by persons with physical challenges, trail maps, trail-related educational materials to promote safe, responsible use, and environmental protection; fee simple title to property or easement acquisition of recreation trails or trail corridors; and purchase of hand-tools for trail work.

Grant applications are available online at www.vtfpr.org/recgrant/trgrant.cfm. The Department of Forests, Park and Recreation will hold a free grant-writing workshop on Wednesday, December 9, from 3 to 4 p.m., at the Vermont Technical College in Randolph. All those interested in applying for funds should attend and will receive five bonus points on their application.

For more information contact Sherry Winnie, program administrator at 802-241-3690, or by e-mail: sherry.winnie@state.vt.us

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