GA Recreational Trails Program (RTP)

Georgia Department of Natural Resources


Grant amount: Up to US $200,000

Next deadline: May 26, 2018 8:59pm PDT (Full proposal)

Later deadlines: Jan 2, 2020 8:59pm PST (Pre proposal), May 26, 2020 8:59pm PDT (Full proposal), Jan 2, 2022 8:59pm PST (Pre proposal), May 26, 2022 8:59pm PDT (Full proposal)

Applicant type: Government Entity Nonprofit

Funding uses: Applied Project / Program, Education / Outreach

Location of project: Georgia (US state)

Location of residency: Georgia (US state)

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Overview:

History and Funding

The Recreational Trails Program (RTP) is a Federal-aid assistance program authorized in 1998. The program was reauthorized by Congress in 2016 under the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act). RTP replaced the original National Recreational Trails Funding Program, established in 1991. The U.S Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration (USDOT/FHWA) administers RTP. In Georgia, FHWA RTP funds are administered by Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR), as designated by the Governor of the State of Georgia. RTP funds represent a portion of the federal gasoline tax attributed to recreation on non-gasoline tax supported roads. FHWA’s annual apportionments to states are based on funds voted on by the U.S. Congress.

Purpose

RTP grant funds are intended to fund recreational trail-related projects for both motorized and nonmotorized use. Project uses include pedestrian: hiking, running and wheelchair access, biking, mountain biking, water trail use, equestrian use, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, off- road motorcycling, all-terrain vehicle riding, four-wheel driving or using other off-road motorized vehicles. The intent for RTP grant funding is to enhance trail opportunities by achieving results that would not otherwise be possible. RTP grants are for projects that are primarily recreational in nature, rather than serving a more utilitarian transportation function. RTP grants typically fund on-the- ground projects, while limited funds are available for educational components. A RTP project must be a distinct project with a distinct purpose. All project elements, including the project match, must be tied to the distinct purpose.

Requirement

RTP Legislation (23 U.S.C. 206) requires that States use:

  • 30 percent of funds in a fiscal year for uses relating to motorized recreation;
  • 30 percent for uses relating to non-motorized recreation;
  • 40 percent for diverse recreational trail use.

The motorized, non-motorized and diverse percentages are minimum requirements that must be met, and may be exceeded. A project for diverse motorized use (such as snowmobile and off- road motorcycle use) may satisfy the 40 percent diverse use requirement and the 30 percent motorized use requirement simultaneously. A project for diverse non-motorized use (such as pedestrian and bicycle use) may satisfy the 40 percent diverse use requirement and the 30 percent non-motorized use requirement simultaneously.

To provide more flexibility in RTP project selection, FHWA established five categories to account for the 30-30-40 requirements:

  1. Non-motorized project for a single use: A project primarily intended to benefit only one mode of non-motorized recreational trail use, such as pedestrian only, or equestrian only. Projects serving various pedestrian uses (such as walking, hiking, wheelchair use, running, birdwatching, backpacking, etc.) constitute a single use for the purposes of this category.
  2. Non-motorized diverse use project: A project primarily intended to benefit more than one mode of non-motorized recreational trail use such as: walking, bicycling, and skating; both pedestrian and equestrian use; and pedestrian use in summer and off road bicycling use in winter.
  3. Diverse use projects: A project intended to benefit both non-motorized recreational trail use and motorized recreational trail use. This category includes projects where motorized use is permitted, but is not the predominant beneficiary. This category includes projects where motorized and non-motorized uses are separated by season, such as equestrian use in summer and ATV use in winter.
  4. Motorized single use project: A project primarily intended to benefit only one mode of motorized recreational use, such as ATV trail. A project may be classified in this category if the project also benefits some non-motorized uses (it is not necessary to exclude non-motorized uses), but the primary intent must be for the benefit of motorized use.
  5. Motorized diverse use project: A project primarily intended to benefit more than one mode of motorized recreational use, such as: motorcycle and ATV use; or ATV use in summer and snowmobile use in winter. A project may be classified in this category if the project also benefits some non-motorized uses (it is not necessary to exclude non-motorized uses), but the primary intent must be for the benefit of motorized use.

Grant Amount

Grant requests have no minimum and are limited to a maximum of $200,000 for nonmotorized, single use and diverse use trail projects. There is no maximum grant amount in place for motorized trail projects.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.

Eligibility:

  • Eligible Projects Sponsors for RTP include:
    • Municipal Agencies
    • State Agencies
    • Federal Government Agencies
    • Other Government Entities
    • Non-profit organizations – must meets the following criteria:
      • IRS 501(c)(3) tax exempt status
      • Only eligible for educational program grants that promote recreational trail safety and environmental protection. 
  • Permissible uses: (More information on Permissible Uses can be found here.)
    • New trail construction
    • Trail restoration
    • Trail head facilities
    • Lease of heavy equipment
    • Purchase of hand tools to construct / renovate trails
    • Land acquisition for trail purposes
    • Water trail facilities
    • Safety and educational programs
  • RTP grant funds can pay up to 80% of a project’s total cost. Project Sponsors must provide at least 20% of the total project cost as match. See more details here.

Ineligibility:

  • In general, RTP funds may be used for the following types of projects:
    • New trail construction
    • Trail restoration
    • Trail head facilities
    • Lease of heavy equipment
    • Purchase of hand tools to construct / renovate trails
    • Land acquisition for trail purposes
    • Water trail facilities
    • Safety and educational programs