Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance


The Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program implements the natural resource conservation and outdoor recreation mission of the National Park Service in communities across America.

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Program Number
Federal Agency/Office
National Park Service, Department of The Interior
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
B - Project Grants; K - Advisory Services and Counseling
Program Accomplishments
Fiscal Year 2017 No information available. 31 Grants were funded.
Fiscal Year 2018 Program provided assistance with 242 projects.
Fiscal Year 2019 The program assisted communities with approximately 214 projects.
Fiscal Year 2020 Six communities received funding for projects.
Fiscal Year 2022 Provided assistance and funding to communities to meet the goals and objectives of the National Trails Act.
16 Conservation U.S.C. § 1241-51 The National Trails System Act
This program provides technical assistance and no longer funds grants to communities.
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
Private nonprofit organizations and Federal, State and local government agencies.
Beneficiary Eligibility
Private nonprofit organizations and Federal, State and local government agencies.
Consulting an NPS RTCA program manager prior to application is a requirement to help identify how our expertise can complement your project and answer questions regarding applications.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
Preapplication coordination is required. An environmental impact statement is required for this listing. Program advice and information is available from the appropriate NPS Regional Office or the National Office. Consultation with an RTCA staff before an application for assistance is made helps clarify RTCA roles and contributions and also helps identify how the selection criteria might apply to your conservation and outdoor recreation goals. Information is available electronically at http://www.nps.gov/rtca or you may contact the appropriate regional RTCA program leader.
Application Procedure
2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. Application deadline: June 30 Email completed applications to the Program Manager who serves your state or contact them for guidance on mailing a printed version (see list at the end of the application) Please include the following in your Application Package: 1. Completed application form 2. Site location map 3. A minimum of 3 commitment letters that describe each partner's role, responsibility, and contribution to the project 4. Optional supplemental information that can help us learn more about your project (for example, background documents, examples of media coverage, additional maps, list of links to resources, project photos, etc.) - Applicants will be notified of decisions before November 1. - Project start times will be coordinated with applicants who have been selected for assistance
Award Procedure
Proposals received in response announcements on grants.gov are reviewed on the basis of a competitive, merit-based review process, and are rated in accordance with the evaluation criteria stated in the announcement. Awards may be made to the highest rated proposals based on the amount of funding available each year.
Contact the headquarters or regional location, as appropriate for application deadlines
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
July 1 to September 30 annually
Renewals will be considered.
How are proposals selected?
In addition to selecting projects based on NPS capacity, funding, and staff skills, projects are evaluated by: Applications for support from the Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance program are competitively evaluated based on the following criteria: - The project has specific goals and results for conservation and outdoor recreation expected in the near future. - Roles and contributions of project partners are significant and well-defined. - There is evidence of broad community support for the project. - The project fits with our focus areas (although proposals falling outside these areas are considered).
How may assistance be used?
NPS is helping communities improve parks, establish trails, access rivers, and protect special places.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Not applicable.
Not applicable.
Not applicable.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory formula is not applicable to this assistance listing.

Matching requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.

MOE requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Generally 1 to 2 years.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
Visit www.nps.gov/orgs.rtca.contactus.htm for a listing of state contacts.
Headquarters Office
Stephan Nofield
1849 C Street, NW., (ORG CODE 2240)
Washington, DC 20240 US
Phone: (202) 354-6922
Website Address
Financial Information
Account Identification
(Project Grants (Cooperative Agreements or Contracts)) FY 22$970,685.00; FY 23 Estimate Not Available FY 24 Estimate Not Available FY 21$666,385.00; FY 20$220,717.00; FY 19$570,277.00; FY 18$0.00; FY 17$1,448,588.00; - (Advisory Services and Counseling) FY 22 FY 23 FY 24 FY 21 Estimate Not Available FY 20 -
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
This program provides technical assistance and will no longer fund grants to communities.
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
Visit www.nps.gov/orgs/rtca for more information, and instructions on applying for assistance.
Examples of Funded Projects
Fiscal Year 2017 No information available. The funded programs implements natural resource conservation and the outdoor recreation mission of the National Park Service in communities across America: HIKING TRAILS STEWARDSHIP AND OUTREACH, GROUNDWORK RICHMOND-CAPACITY BUILDING & PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT, CANOEMOBILE: ENGAGING YOUTH IN THEIR URBAN WATERWAYS.
Fiscal Year 2019 NPS provided communities with financial and technical assistance
Fiscal Year 2020 Projects funded throughout the country included the Frederick Douglass Rail-Trail, Maryland Line Trail, Dueling Creek Heritage Trail, Monument Corridor Shared-use Path, Eagle River Restoration and Recreation Plan.
Fiscal Year 2021 NPS will provide communities with financial and technical assistance.
Fiscal Year 2023 RTCA will help create local, regional and state networks of parks, rivers, trails, greenways and open spaces by collaborating with community partners and National Park areas.


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