Potential Sources of Funding for Greenway Projects
One question that is consistently asked by greenway entrepreneurs and planners is whether funding is available for these projects. The answer is yes, although the pots of money are diverse and often small. There is a lot of competition for a limited amount of financial resources. While no one grant source will provide all of the funding needed to see a project through from beginning to end, a determined and creative applicant may find that they can put together a sizeable amount of money. The list that follows gives some places to start. Some of the grants are limited to projects in certain geographical areas or to certain types of activities. Consult foundation directories in your local library, surf the Internet; there is a lot more information out there. Finally, if at first you don't succeed, submit, submit again!
- National Recreational Trails Program (aka RTP or Symms Act)
Funded through the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) and passed through to the states to administer, these funds can be used for construction of new trails, maintenance and restoration of existing trails, purchase or lease of equipment, acquisition of trail easements, and developing trail access for people with disabilities. Connecticut will receive about $900,000 per year for these grants. The cost share is up to 80% federal funds. Eligible applicants include municipal, county, state, or federal agencies and private organizations. Grant applications are evaluated by a committee. Grant periods follow the federal fiscal cycle, beginning in October of each year. RFPs generally go out each June. Contact: Laurie Giannotti, DEEP, (860) 424-3578.
- Long Island Sound License Plate Grant Program
Using money generated by the sale of Long Island Sound license plates, this program makes grant awards in four categories: Education and Outreach; Public Access; Habitat Restoration; and Research. Projects should be directly related to Long Island Sound or its tributaries including its coves, embayments, harbors, tidal rivers and their associated habitats. Proposals received will be reviewed and ranked by the DEEP and the Long Island Sound Fund Advisory Committee. The suggested upper limit for projects is $25,000. Contact: Kate Brown, LIS Fund Coordinator, DEEP, (860) 424-3034.
- America the Beautiful Grants:
Each year, the Urban Forestry Program makes available federal grant money to towns, cities and non-profits in the state, to further the advance of urban forestry in Connecticut. The funds have gone to such diverse projects as tree planting, street tree inventories, tree maintenance programs and the design of tree guidebooks.
- CT DEEP Nonpoint Source Program (aka 319)
Nonpoint source pollution is caused by diffuse sources not regulated as point sources and is normally associated with precipitation and runoff from the land or percolation. In Connecticut, the §319 program is administered by the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), Bureau of Water Protection and Land Reuse. Each year the department issues a Request for Proposals (RFP) for competitive projects to be funded under §319.
- National Parks Service Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program
NPS staff provide technical assistance during one-year commitments, for up to three years. Projects typically involve trail corridors, gateways connecting trails to Main Streets, riverfront greenways, and land conservation. Request for assistance letters must address four issues: resource significance, tangible results, public support, and clear roles for NPS and it partner. Partners include informal groups, private non-profit organizations, and local governments. Several Connecticut greenway projects have received valuable technical assistance through this program. Requests for assistance are evaluated during late summer for start-up in October. Contact: John Monroe, Director of Connecticut Programs, (617) 223-5049.
- American Greenway/Kodak Grants, The Conservation Fund
This is a small grant program aimed at nonprofit organizations, public agencies, and community groups to promote action oriented greenway projects. The grants are made possible through the American Greenways Kodak Awards Program sponsored by the Conservation Fund, the Eastman Kodak Company, and the National Geographic Society. The $500 to $2500 grants are awarded for a wide variety of planning, design, implementation, and educational projects. The application period is from March 1 to June 1, with awards announced in the fall. Applications and guidelines are available. Contact: The Conservation Fund, (703) 525-6300.
- Bikes Belong
The Bikes Belong Coalition is sponsored by members of the American Bicycle Industry. The goal is putting more people on bikes more often. They seek to assist local organizations, agencies, and citizens in developing bicycle facilities projects that will be funded by Federal Highway Administration Enhancement Grants.
Bikes Belong Coalition will accept applications for grants of up to $10,000 each, and will consider successor grants for continuing projects. Funding decisions will be made on a rolling basis. Applications and proposals will be reviewed under the auspices of the Bikes Belong Coalition’s Executive Director and presented to the Board of Directors for approval, rejection, or resubmission. For more information, contact www.bikesbelong.org.
For more information on Connecticut’s Greenway programs, contact Laurie Giannotti, DEEP Trails & Greenways Coordinator, 79 Elm Street, Hartford, CT 06106. Phone: (860) 424-3578.