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Grants to Missouri Nonprofits, For-Profits, Agencies, IHEs, and Schools for Trail Construction and Maintenance

Recreational Trails Program (RTP) Grants


GrantWatch ID#

Funding Source
Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MoDNR)
Array ( )

Geographic Focus
USA: Missouri

Important Dates
Conference Date: 01/10/24
Deadline: 02/21/24 - Postmarked Save

Grant Description
Grants to Missouri nonprofit organizations, for-profit organizations, government agencies, IHEs, and schools to expand and improve outdoor trails for public use. Funding is intended to provide and maintain recreational trails and trail-related facilities for both motorized and nonmotorized recreational use. Examples of recreational trail uses include hiking, bicycling, in-line skating, equestrian use, boating, off-road motorcycling, all-terrain vehicle riding, four-wheel driving or using other off-road motorized vehicles.

Scoring criteria places emphasis on:

  • How the project aligns with a priority listed in local or regional master plan, or Missouri's Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP);
  • Whether the project demonstrates strong public support and indication of need (i.e. recreation, public health and safety, etc.), solicited through public comment forums;
  • Whether and how the project addresses accessibility and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA);
  • Environmental factors, sustainability considerations and safety concerns that have been addressed or incorporated into the project’s design;
  • What assurances the project sponsor can provide that there is adequate funding and labor to complete the project within the established timeframe;
  • What assurances the project sponsor can provide that the project will be managed and maintained in public use for 25 years; and
  • Whether the project sponsor is collaborating with qualified youth service organizations or other partners or donors to complete the project.

Below is a list of eligible project types. All trail-related projects must be maintained and open to the public for a minimum of 25 years:

Eligible Projects Include:

  • Restoration of existing recreational trails.
  • Development and rehabilitation of trailside and trailhead facilities and trail linkages for recreational trails.
  • Construction of new recreational trails (with restrictions for new trails on Federal lands).
  • Acquisition of easements and property for recreational trails or recreational trail corridors.
  • Assessment of trail conditions for accessibility and maintenance.

For additional information about eligible projects, see


Additional Eligibility Criteria
RTP grants are open to local and state governments, school districts and nonprofit organizations.

The following entities are eligible to apply for RTP funding.
• Not-for-profit organizations, including youth organizations, trail clubs, land trusts, conservation organizations, private schools, and private operators of recreational facilities open to the public.
• Political subdivisions such as cities, towns, counties, school districts, and public utilities.
• State departments and divisions and state public education institutions.
• Federal Agency can only apply for motorized funding.

Eligible projects can be sponsored by partnerships between public and not-for-profit organizations. Additionally, public or not-for-profit organizations may sponsor projects on state or federal lands; however, the state or federal land managing agency must provide written support of the project through a letter of support and a draft Memorandum of Agreement. In addition, the proposed project must meet all applicable state and federal laws and be consistent with the land management plans specific to the respective state or federal area. Projects on state property may be subject to the supervision of the Office of Administration, Division of Facilities Management, Design, and Construction per 8.110 RSMo.

Below is a list of ineligible project types:
• Property condemnation (eminent domain).
• Motorized recreational trails on lands designated as federal wilderness or state wild areas.
• Projects to upgrade, expand, or otherwise facilitate motorized use or access to existing recreational trails predominantly used
by non-motorized recreational trail users.
• Trail feasibility studies. Eligible projects relate to actual on-the-ground trail projects, so a project proposal for the purpose of performing a trail feasibility study would not be eligible.
• Trail planning. A project solely for the purpose of trail planning is not eligible; however, trail planning is an allowable cost of an eligible trail project.
• Roads or sidewalks. A sidewalk may be included as an eligible cost if it links two trails or provides an accessible route to a trailhead or trailside amenity. Prior approval from DSP is required before including sidewalks in the project scope.
• Segway or golf cart paths.
• Racetracks or fitness tracks.
• The purchase of vehicles used solely for transportation or law enforcement/security patrolling.

Highway rest areas or visitor centers are not appropriate uses of RTP funds.

Ineligible Costs include:
- Routine trail maintenance, which includes work that should be conducted on a frequent basis in order to keep a trail in its originally constructed state (e.g., mowing, tree and brush pruning, leaf and debris removal, cleaning and repair of culverts and other drainage structures, etc.).
- Overhead costs that include regular operating expenses, such as building rent and upkeep, utilities, insurance and fixed costs associated with a business, agency or group.
- Indirect costs, which typically represent the regular expenses of doing business. Only costs that are directly related to the project are eligible.
- Law enforcement costs are not eligible.
- Budget contingencies included as budget line items.

Pre-Proposal Conference
The 2024 RTP Application Webex is scheduled for Jan. 10, 2024, at 9 a.m.

To register for this Webex, please click on the following link and fill out the registration form:

An invitation for the Webex will be emailed to you following your registration. If you are unable to attend the Application Webex, it will be recorded and posted to the Grant Workshops page at after Jan. 19, 2024.

Pre-Application Information
In order to be considered for a RTP project, project sponsors must complete and return two (2) copies of the current RTP Project Application, postmarked on or before February 21, 2024.

The OPSP will occur annually, beginning with a call for projects that usually occurs in December of each year. The following is a typical timeline for the OPSP:
- December: The OPSP commences with a call for project proposals. The application and application guide are posted on the website. Notices are distributed in a variety of formats to local political subdivisions. Important upcoming dates are posted on the website, as well as a pre-application checklist for potential applicants to begin compiling required supporting documentation.
- January: Application webinars are hosted for project applicants.
- February: Final application submittals are due by mid- to late-February. Department staff submit approved applications to the MTAB.
- March: The MTAB reviews, scores and ranks the approved applications.
- April - July: Department staff and the MTAB meet in early April to discuss project proposals. Department staff conduct risk assessments and pre-award site inspections of recommended projects to confirm field conditions and applicant capability to perform. A draft list of recommended projects is submitted to the Division and Department Director for approval.
- August: The draft application packets are submitted to the FHWA for review and concurrence.
- October-November: Once the FHWA has reviewed and concurs with project eligibility, applicants will be notified of the results of the application review process, and sponsors of the approved projects will receive a notice of award and a project agreement. Sponsors are then required to attend a mandatory grant administration workshop. Once all required clearances have been obtained, the Department will request FHWA to obligate funds.

The RTP is a matching grant program, which means the project sponsor shares a percentage of the project cost. The federal share for a RTP grant is a maximum of 80%, thus requiring a minimum match of 20% from the project sponsor. The sponsor’s match can include in-kind contributions and donations. Additionally, RTP grants are reimbursement grants, which means the grants provide funding to project sponsors for adequately documents costs after expenses have been incurred.

Applicants are encouraged to submit their application packets prior to the deadline date.

Estimated Size of Grant
The maximum amount that can be requested and awarded per project is $250,000, and the minimum grant request is $25,000.

Term of Contract
Sponsors have a project period of three years to complete the RTP project.

Contact Information
Mail application packets to:
Missouri State Parks, Grants Management
P.O. Box 176
Jefferson City, MO 65102-0176

Or, to:
1659 E. Elm St.
Jefferson City, MO 65101

For questions about an application packet or the process, call (573) 522-8773 or (573) 751-8661 or email

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