Apply now for parks & trails grants

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has opened the application period for five grant programs for which local governments are eligible. Read on more to see which grant programs could work for your community:

Federal Recreational Trail Program – Grants between $1,000 and $150,000 will be awarded for maintenance/restoration of recreational trails; development or rehabilitation of recreational trail linkages or trail head facilities; environmental awareness and safety education programs, and redesign or relocation of trails to benefit the environment. All projects must be sponsored by a unit of government, but preference is given to projects done in cooperation with a local trail organization or that involve youth corps worker groups. A 25 percent cash or in-kind match is required. Applications are due Feb. 28, 2018.

Local Trails Connection Program – Grants ranging from $5,000 to $150,000 are available for local units of government for the acquisition or development of short trail connections between where people live and desirable locations. A 25 percent match is required. Priority is given to projects that provide significant connectivity. Applications are due March 30, 2018.

Regional Trail Grant Program – Grants ranging from $5,000 to $250,000 are available for the development of trails in Greater Minnesota of regional or statewide significance. A 25 percent cash match is required. Applications are due March 30, 2018.

Natural and Scenic Area Grants – Grants up to $250,000 are available to local governments for acquisition of natural and scenic land for development. The 2014-2018 State Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP) provides guidance on priorities. A maximum of 50 percent of total project costs will be reimbursed. Applications are due March 30, 2018.

Outdoor Recreation Grant Program – Grants of up to 50 percent of project costs (with a maximum award of $150,000) are available to local governments to increase and enhance outdoor recreation facilities in local and community parks. Acquisition and development or development projects are eligible including internal park trails, picnic shelters, playgrounds, athletic facilities, boat accesses, fishing piers, swimming beaches and campgrounds. The SCORP guidelines will establish priorities for this grant program. Applications are due March 30, 2018.