Oregon Historic Trails Fund Grant

Oregon Community Foundation

Grant amount: Up to US $40,000

Anticipated deadline: Aug 31, 2019 5:00pm PDT

Applicant type: Indigenous Group Government Entity Nonprofit

Funding uses: Applied Project / Program

Location of project: Oregon

Location of residency: Oregon

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Purpose of the Fund

The Oregon Community Foundation is pleased to announce that funds are available for grant making through the Oregon Historic Trails Fund. 

In 1998, the financial assets of the Oregon Trails Coordinating Council were transferred to OCF to establish the Oregon Historic Trails Fund, dedicated to projects related to Oregon historic trails as recognized by the state legislature in ORS 358.057. These trails included (please see map & detailed report here)

  • Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail
  • Applegate National Historic Trail
  • Oregon National Historic Trail
  • Nez Perce National Historic Trail
  • Whitman Mission Route
  • Upper Columbia River Route
  • Meek Cutoff
  • Free Emigrant Road
  • Cutoff to the Barlow Road
  • Klamath Trail
  • Jedediah Smith Route
  • Nathaniel Wyeth Route
  • Benjamin Bonneville Route
  • Ewing Young Route
  • John Fremont Route
  • Santiam Wagon Road

The purpose of the fund is to develop interpretive, educational, and economic projects to preserve and protect the cultural and natural resources of Oregon’s historic trails. Proposals related to non-designated significant historic trails will be considered on a case by case basis. Although the fund derives much of its revenue from the sale of Oregon Trail license plates, a long-term goal is to build a large and stable resource to support local citizen efforts that promote public awareness of and enjoyment of the historic trails.

An advisory committee made up of persons who are knowledgeable about Oregon’s historic trails and cultural resources reviews grant applications and makes recommendations to the OCF board of directors. Approximately $40,000 may be available in one or more grants each year. Applicants will be notified of funding decisions in November. 

Proposals Sought

The OCF/Oregon Historic Trails Fund will make grants upon the recommendation of an advisory committee to support projects that interpret, preserve, or maintain trail-related  resources. Grants may be awarded also for marketing, education, advocacy, and research related to historic trails. 

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


  • Application Requirements:
    • Applicants must be a governmental agency, a federally recognized tribe or be classified by the IRS with 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status and further classified as a public charity (as opposed to a private foundation). 
    • Investment will be within the state of Oregon but out-of-state partnerships are encouraged. 
    • Projects must meet interpretive standards equal to those of the National Association for Interpretation, National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, or the American Association of Museums. 
    • If projects are intended to engage with, serve, and/or highlight specific cultures and populations, staffing and leadership reflect the populations served and/or have actively involved them in the development of the work described.
      • Applicants will be asked to share how their expertise, partnerships and community connections help them carry out this work. 
    • Grants require a 1:1 cash match, but the matching funds may be used for purposes other than the project described in the OHTF grant request.  
    • Projects must be completed within one year of the grant payment, unless an extension is permitted by OCF.
    • Funds are distributed when projects are ready to proceed.
    • Grantees are required to submit reports, including the documentation of expenditures, within two months of completing the project. 


  • Priority is given to projects that interpret, preserve, or maintain trail-related resources. Funding also can be used for marketing, education, advocacy, or research related to historic trails. 


  • Funds cannot be used for administrative or general operating expenses.
  • Large capital construction projects will not be considered. 

About this funder:

View past grantees & full 990 summary