will continue to serve the nonprofit and small business community during the COVID-19 global crisis.  In addition to posting new COVID-19 Coronavirus funding opportunities, we will continue to update active grants with new extended grant deadlines.  While we are carefully monitoring funding opportunities and updating throughout each day, the situation is dynamic. We ask that all GrantWatch members review the URL listed in the grant posting and all material provided by the funding source prior to submitting applications.

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Local Trail Connections Program Grant

Grants to Minnesota Local Agencies for Projects
that Develop and Improve Local Trails

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR)

Deadline Date:

03/27/20 Receipt


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Grants to Minnesota local government agencies to promote the use of biking, walking, and other alternative forms of transportation. Funding is intended to support the development of trails that connect communities to each other. Grants may be used for projects such as construction, the development of linkages in strategic locations, land acquisition, improvement of facilities, improved trail access for people with disabilities, trail restoration, maintenance of existing recreational trails, and the construction or restoration of trail bridges. Consideration will be given to trail length, expected high usage, and the quality of connection to the outdoors, such as scenic views, and unique natural and cultural features.

The Local Trail Connections Program is intended to accelerate local trail connections to planned and existing state trails and other public facilities, not to create significant new recreation trails. Its primary purpose is to complete connections between residential areas within cities or entire communities and significant public resources (e.g., historical areas, open space, parks and/or other trails). Projects must result in a trail linkage that is immediately available for use by the general public. 

Specified Recreational Uses (one or more): Walking/Hiking, Bicycling, Mountain Bicycling, Horseback Riding, Cross-Country Skiing, In-Line Skating, Snowmobiling, ATV Riding, Off-Highway Motorcycling, Off-Road Vehicles.

Eligible projects may include, but are not necessarily limited to the following examples:
  • Land acquisition (see the land acquisition requirements in Grant Manual)
  • Construction of trails on public or private lands where a twenty year easement can be obtained
  • Development of trail linkages near homes and workplaces
  • Development of permanent trailside improvements and trailhead facilities (e.g., drainage, crossings, stabilization, parking, signage, controls, open-sided shelters, water, and sanitary facilities)
  • Provision of features that facilitate access and use of trails by persons with disabilities
  • Restoration of existing trail facilities, such as resurfacing, repair, or rehabilitation of trails or trailhead facilities
  • Contracted maintenance of existing recreational trails
  • Construction or restoration of trail bridges

For a detailed list of Eligible Projects and Costs, see:

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 178675

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant:

The minimum grant request is $5,000, and the maximum grant award is $150,000.

Term of Contract:

Funds will first be available no earlier than July 1, 2020 to start the contracting process. This means projects funded in this grant round will not have a contract in place before July 1st and thus cannot begin the project prior to this date.

All projects awarded through this grant round must be completed by June 30, 2022 and immediately available for use to the general public for no less than 20 years.

Typically, only projects that are programmed for funding in the current or upcoming federal fiscal year are eligible to receive funding through the current year's solicitation.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

All local units of government (typically cities, counties, and townships) are eligible to apply. Also user groups and/or trail organizations may apply, but only in coordination with a local unit of government per legislation. Funding is only available to a local unit of government.

Project Eligibility:
- Acquisition projects require a perpetual easement for recreational purposes.
- Acquisition of trail right-of-way is eligible only when proposed in conjunction with trail development.
- Development projects require a 20 year maintenance commitment by the project sponsor.
- All paved multi-use bicycle/pedestrian trails must be 10 feet in width to be considered for funding through this program. Very short distance exceptions might be allowed on a case by case basis and limited in distance (i.e., 20-30 feet for example).

Ineligible Projects:
Projects inside state park boundaries, state recreation areas, on state trail corridors and elements of the Regional Open Space System in the Twin Cities Metro System are not eligible.

Neither this funding source, nor the match can be used for in-house labor services and/or to meet existing payroll.

For a detailed list of Non-eligible Projects and Costs, see:

Pre-Application Information:

Application Deadline: March 27, 2020

Staff members are available to discuss projects or review application materials prior to submittal. Applicants are encouraged to submit any draft application or materials by March 6, 2020 to receive staff comments.

Applicants are urged to begin the application process early in order to allow time to complete application requirements, such as getting a local unit of government resolution.

- Early January 2020: Grant application materials available on the DNR website
- March 6, 2020: Draft applications due if grant applicant seeks comments by Grant Coordinator (not required)
- March 27, 2020: Grant application due date; Applications will not be accepted after this date.
- March 28, 2019 - July 2020: Application review and selection process.
- July 2020: Grant applicants and applicant partners are notified if they are awarded a grant or not.
- July 2020: Award letter received.
- July – June 30, 2022: Grantee must begin work on the required documentation checklist items.
- June 30, 2022: The project must be completed. Grant extensions past June 30, 2022 are not available, because the funds expire per legislation. The Grantee must plan accordingly to complete the project no later than June 30, 2022.

Reimbursements: These grants are 75/25 “cash match” reimbursement grants. That means the grantee must complete the project and fully pay for it, produce documentation that shows actual expenditures and proper procurement process has been followed. Then they will receive 75% of what was spent up to their grant award. Only contract services, materials, and supplies are reimbursable.

For additional information about the grant program:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Email the application and attachments to:

Dan Golner, Grant Specialist Coordinator
(651) 259-5599

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
Division of Parks and Trails
500 Lafayette Road, Box 39
Saint Paul, MN 55155
651-296-6157 or 888-646-6367

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Minnesota

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