Obtaining funding for community parks and trail projects can be a challenging endeavor. Moreover, funding sources such as federal and state grant programs, private foundations, and corporate assistance programs are constantly changing, both in terms of their availability and requirements for applying. Therefore, the funding opportunities listed below should be viewed only as a starting point in your search for funding.
Park & Trail Partnership Grant Program
The program is administered jointly by Parks & Trails New York and the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP) and is designed to:
- Enhance the preservation, stewardship, interpretation, maintenance and promotion of New York State parks, trails, state historic sites and public lands.
- Increase the sustainability, effectiveness, productivity, and volunteer and fundraising capabilities of not-for-profit organizations that promote, maintain, and support New York State parks, trails, state historic sites and public lands.
- Promote the tourism and economic development benefits of outdoor recreation through the growth and expansion of a connected statewide network of parks, trails, greenways and public lands.
Governmental Grant Programs
|Technical assistance for community groups and local, state, and federal government agencies to conserve rivers, preserve open space, and develop trails and greenways ||August (Application accepted on an annual basis) |
Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) Improvement Program
Can be considerable
|Reduce traffic congestion on local streets and improve air quality in places that do not meet air quality representative ||Contact the CMAQ program representative at your local MPO|
NYS Office for Small Cities New York State Community Development Block GrantUp to $400,000 for individual applications, $900,000 for joint applications
|Provides grants to eligible cities, towns, and villages with populations under 50,000 and counties with an area population under 200,000, to ensure affordable housing, provide services to the most vulnerable in our communities, create jobs and expand business opportunities directed toward neighborhood revitalization and economic development, and to provide improved community facilities and services. Park & trail projects are eligible in low and moderate income communities in “public facilities” category or as part of broader“comprehensive” project. Discuss with staff before applying. ||Contact DHCR|
| ||Provides funding for trail planning, construction and amenities, water trail implementation, and historic landscape preservation ||Several deadlines. See HRVG webpage for details.|
|Communities receive direct technical assistance from a |
team of national experts in one of two areas: policy analysis (e.g., reviewing state and local codes, school siting guidelines, transportation policies, etc.) or public participatory processes (e.g., visioning, design workshops, alternative analysis, build-out analysis, etc.).
|Metropolitan and multi-jurisdictional planning efforts that integrate housing, land use, economic and workforce development, transportation, and infrastructure investments to encourage economic competitiveness and revitalization; social equity, inclusion, and access to opportunity; energy use and climate change; and public health and environmental impact. |
Can be considerable - depends upon the median household income and the population in the community where the project is located
|Grant funds can be used to construct, enlarge, or improve community facilities for health care, public safety, and community and public services. This can include the purchase of equipment required for a facility's operation. ||Contact local USDA Rural Development program offices.|
|Acquisition, development and maintenance of trails. ||Contact OPRHP regional grants office.|
Only specific counties are eligible
|Investments to revitalize and modernize essential infrastructure in Northern Border region communities, to retain, expand and diversify business enterprise that capitalizes on the region’s natural, cultural, and economic assets, and to position the Northern Border region as an attractive and supportive place for creative and entrepreneurial people.||Contact NBRC program manager with DOS Division of Local Government Services|
NYS DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
|$200,00– $2,000,000||Reimbursement program provides funds for bicycle and pedestrian facilities and the preservation of abandoned railway corridors, including conversion and use for bicycle and pedestrian trails |
National Scenic Byways Program
|Protect and enhance designated scenic roads. Bicycle and pedestrian facilities can be developed in conjunction with scenic roadway projects ||None.|
New York State Consolidated Funding Application (CFA)
This funding program streamlines the application process by matching one grant request with several available programs.
Funders: Empire State Development; NYS Canal Corporation; Energy Research and Development Authority; Environmental Facilities Corporation; Homes and Community Renewal; Department of Labor; Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (State Parks); Department of State; and Department of Transportation. Each agency's program is detailed below. It is no longer possible to apply for these programs individually.
Workshops for the CFA process are available. Check here to find a workshop hear you.
NYS DEPARTMEnt of PARks, Recreation and Historic Preservation
Parks Matching Grants ProgramA cap for grant awards is established annually
|Program for the acquisition or development of parks and recreational facilities||Contact OPRHP regional grants office|
Historic Preservation Grant ProgramsA cap for grant awards is established annually
|A matching grant program to improve, protect, preserve, rehabilitate or restore properties listed on the National or State Registers of Historic Places||Contact OPRHP regional grants office|
Heritage Areas ProgramA cap for grant awards is established annually
|A matching grant program for projects to preserve, rehabilitate or restore lands, waters or structures, identified in a management plan approved by the Commissioner.||Contact OPRHP regional grants office|
AcquisitionA cap for grant awards is established annually
|A matching grant program for the acquisition of a permanent easement or fee title to lands, waters or structures for use by all segments of the population for park, trail, recreation, conservation or preservation purposes.||Contact OPRHP regional grants office|
Land and Water Conservation Fund ProgramA cap for grant awards is established annually
|A matching grant program for the acquisition, development and/or rehabilitation of outdoor park and recreation facilities.||Contact OPRHP regional grants office|
NYS DepARTMENT OF STATE (DOS) Local Waterfront Revitalization Program (LWRP)Up to $500,000
|Waterfront rediscovery; coastal education and tourism programs; preparation or implementation of Local Waterfront Revitalization Program (LWRP) Plans.||Contact NYSDOS Division of Coastal Resources|
Community Training and Assistance Center (CTAC)Up to up to $20,000
|To to build the capacity, sustainability, and impact of grassroots organizations that are engaged in important community organizing work in low-income communities Applying groups must have been engaged in community organizing in low-income, highly disenfranchised communities for a number of years.||Annual May deadline|
Preservation League of New York Technical Assistance Grant$3,000
|Grants support professional services of architects, engineers and other design and preservation professionals working with not-for-profit groups and municipalities to preserve their arts and cultural buildings, structures and other resources.||Annual September deadline|
Preservation League of New York Preserve New York$3,000 to $10,000
|Cultural resource surveys, historic structure reports, and historic landscape reports. Open to 501c3 organizations and municipalities.||Annual March deadline|
Kodak American Greenways$2,500 max; normally $500-$1000
|Planning and design of greenways in communities throughout America||Not accepting applications at this time|
Laura Jane Musser FundPlanning grants of up to $5,000 and implementation grants of up to $25,000.
|Grants are provided for programs that will help to strengthen individual rural towns in economic development, business preservation, arts and humanities, public space improvements, and education. The applicant community must have a population of 10,000 or fewer.|
National Environmental Education Foundation's Every Day GrantsUp to $5,000
|The Every Day Grants provide funding for capacity building which includes, but is not limited to, board development, staff trainings, fundraising support, strategic planning and technology improvements.||25 grants are awarded cycle. Applications that are submitted between November 1 & April 30 are awarded in August. Applications that are submitted between May 1 & October 30 are awarded in February.|
American Hiking Society National Trails Fund$500 to $5,000 per project
|Acquisition, constituency building campaigns, and traditional trail work projects. applicants must be members of AHS’ Alliance of Hiking Organizations.|
Grants with Multiple Deadlines
CITIZENS' INSTITUTE ON RURAL DESIGNTechnical Assistance
|With support from a wide range of design, planning, and creative placemaking professionals, the workshops bring together local leaders from non-profits, community organizations, and government to develop actionable solutions to pressing community design challenges.|
Bikes Belong CoalitionUp to $10,000
|Advocacy work and organizational capacity building; construction costs; matching funds; and education programs for bikes paths, trails, routes, lanes, parking, and transit; Mountain bike and BMX facilities; innovative and unique high-profile projects||Bikes belong maintains a comprehensive list of bike related grant programs with different deadlines.|
Captain Planet Foundation$500-$2,500
|Hands-on environmental education programs for K-12 youth that help develop cooperation and planning and problem solving skills.||September 30th- typically for spring and summer projects. |
February 28th- typically for fall and winter projects.
Conservation AllianceUp to $50,000
|Efforts of grassroots citizen-action groups to protect wild and natural lands from resource extraction and commercial development. Before applying for funding, an organization must first be nominated by one of the Alliance's member companies.||Summer Cycle: |
Nominations due May 1
Proposals due June 1
Grants announced early October
Nominations due November 1
Proposals due December 1
Grants announced early April
The Furthermore program$500 to roughly $15,000
|Nonfiction book publishing about New York city; natural and historic resources; art, architecture, and design; cultural history; and civil liberties and other public issues||March 1 & September 1|
Ben & Jerry's Foundation$1,001 - $15,000
|Projects that lead to environmental change or address the root causes of environmental problems||An ongoing basis|
Scott's Miracle-Gro Company’s GRO1000 Grassroots GrantsUp to $1,500
|The focus is on garden and green space beautification projects that incorporate the involvement and engagement of neighborhood residents. Eligible applicants include nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, and government agencies.|
Robert Wood Johnson FoundationCan be considerable
|Projects that improve the health and health care of all Americans||Calls for proposals issued throughout the year. Unsolicited proposals accepted anytime.|
Norcross Wildlife FoundationNo more than $10,000, but average less than $5,000
|Grants and loans for land protection||Request are reviewed quarterly|
The Pack Project Grants ProgramUp to $2,500
|This funding opportunity supports pioneering projects and initiatives that result in increased active outdoor participation. Active outdoor recreation includes but is not limited to hiking, biking, paddling, running and general play.||Deadline: June 1|
Walk Friendly CommunitiesTechnical Assistance
|Awardees receive specific suggestions and resources on how to make needed changes for pedestrian safety.||N/A yet|
The Corning Incorporated FoundationCan be considerable.
|The Corning Incorporated Foundation supports educational, cultural, and community service projects.||An ongoing basis|
Other Funding/Assistance Resources
Programs must address community needs in one or several of five areas: homeland security, environment, education, public safety, or other human needs. The federal funds awarded provide support for member living allowances, benefits, operational support and the education award that AmeriCorps members receive upon completion of their service term. A minimum 33% local match is required. There is a minimum program size of 10 members per award, though these members do not have to work together at a single host site or organization. If a group cannot host 10 AmeriCorps members, it can pool resources with local or regional partners. Contact AmeriCorps*VISTA.
This federal agency maintains a website that houses the most comprehensive look at volunteering and civic life in the 50 states and 51 cities across the country. Data includes volunteer rates and rankings, civic engagement trends, and analysis. The site also maintains a comprehensive list of service organizations that are accepting volunteers.
This for-profit company sells software designed to track donations, volunteer hours, and manage events. VolunterHub maintain a blog that provides useful information on trends and tips for collecting data.
Ideas and sources of funding from across America.
Bi-weekly e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking that providing news and information to help create more walkable and bicycle-friendly communities. To subscribe to Centerlines send a blank email.
State association of New York nonprofits that offers technical assistance and group training, organizational insurance and discounted group purchasing programs for its members. Membership is based on size of organizational budget. Minimum membership is $50 for an operating budget under $50,000. As a member benefit, in partnership with GrantStation, CCSNYS each week emails the GrantStation Insider. The GrantStation Insider provides the latest information on new funding programs, upcoming grant deadlines, conferences, trainings, and relevant information for grantseekers.
A voluntary association of foundations and giving programs concerned with the protection of the natural environment.
A leading authority on institutional philanthropy. The Center’s collection of resources is available in libraries in all 50 states in the U.S.
Lists foundations offering environmental grants and financial support to communities for a variety of projects.
Monthly newsletter includes information on available state and federal grants, plus information on grant writing workshops.
Have a civic project in need of funding? A trail, for example, or bike share, or perhaps a ball park? If you know of a civic project that could use a creative down payment these crowd source funding sites could be for you.
Provides ideas that communities can use to raise funds for bicycle and pedestrian projects.
Provides interns and crew members for trail work. Contact Kathy Baugh, Program Director, 845-255-4758, 299 Mountain Rest Rd, New Paltz, NY 12561.
Information sources, success stories, tips and case studies on various types of funding.