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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Regional Trail Grant Program

Grants to Minnesota Local Governments for the
Development of Recreational Trails in Eligible Regions

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 municipal and county governments to develop long-distance recreational trails in eligible regions. Funding is intended to support the development and acquisition of trail facilities that are considered to be of statewide or regional significance. Eligible trails are located in areas of the State outside the seven-county metropolitan region. Priority will be given to projects that develop trails of significant length. Acquisition projects require a perpetual easement for recreational purposes; development projects require a 20-year maintenance commitment by the project sponsor.

This program is intended to accelerate the development of long-distance recreational trails that are destinations, in essence to create significant new recreation trails. Grants are awarded for the acquisition and development of regional trails and for removal of barriers that impede full access to these facilities. Historically, priority has been given to projects that can demonstrate significant length, a high-expected use, significant resource quality and attractiveness.

Eligible projects may include, but are not necessarily limited to the following examples:
- Land acquisition from willing sellers, where value is established by a licensed and certified appraiser, whose conclusions of value are certified by the State, and only if perpetual easement for recreation trail purposes is conveyed to the state.
- Construction of trails on public or private lands where a twenty year easement for the purpose of the project 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 information about eligible reimbursement costs, see:

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 180214

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant:

The minimum grant request is $5,000, and the maximum grant award is $250,000.

Term of Contract:

All work funded with FY 2021 appropriations must be completed no later than June 30, 2022.

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.

Funds cannot be used for the development of any trails that are designated as part of the state trail system. Neither this funding source, nor the match can be used for in-house labor services and/or to meet existing payroll.

Non-eligible projects include but are not limited to:
- Projects within state park boundaries, state recreational areas, on state trails, and elements of the Metropolitan Open Space System.
- Construction of trails within federally designated wilderness areas (with some exceptions).
- Construction of ordinary sidewalks.
- Planning projects that are preliminary to construction of any trail projects.
- Improvements on highways or other roadways, including but not limited to, lighting, striping, on-street routing, and shoulder work.
- All paved multi-use bicycle/pedestrian trails less than 10 feet in width are not eligible. Short distance exceptions are allowed on a case by case basis.

For Non-eligible Reimbursement Costs, see

Pre-Application Information:

The completed application is due March 27, 2020. Grant awards will be announced in the summer of 2020.

Staff members are available to discuss projects or review application materials. Applicants are encouraged to submit any draft application or materials by March 6, 2020 if they would like staff to provide comments.

Grant Application Timeline:
- Early January 2020: Grant application materials available on the DNR website
- March 6, 2029: 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, 2020 - July 20209: Application review and selection process.
- July 2020: Grant applicants are notified of the results. All grant applicants will be sent a letter if they are awarded a grant or not. Copy of the notification letter will also be sent to the applicant partner, if applicable. Awarded grantees then will follow the timeline below.

Awarded Grant Timeline:
- July 2020: Award letter received. Required documentation checklist also included with notification letter.
- July 2020: Grantee must begin work on the required documentation checklist items. All items must be completed in order to receive a grant contract.
- June 30, 2022: The project must be completed by 6/30/2022. Grant extensions past 6/30/2022 are not available because the funds expire 6/30/2022 per the legislation.

Grants are reimbursement based up to 75 percent of eligible project costs, and recipients must provide a non-state cash match of at least 25 percent. Other state funds or grants, such as Parks and Trails Legacy Grants, or Metropolitan Council Grants cannot match these grants.

Contact Information:

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

Applications should be emailed to:

Dan Golner, Grants Specialist Coordinator

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
Division of Parks and Trails
500 Lafayette Road, Box 39
Saint Paul, MN 55155

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Minnesota: Outside the seven-county metropolitan region

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