2012 Recreational Trails Program Grants Now Available
April 17, 2012

( Concord , NH April 17, 2012) The New Hampshire Division of Parks and Recreation, Bureau of Trails announces that the Recreational Trails Program (RTP) grant applications are now available. RTP is a competitive grant program that offers funding for quality public trail projects throughout New Hampshire .

Grants are available for motorized, non-motorized and diversified trails. Eligible projects include maintenance and restoration of existing trails, purchase and lease of trail construction and maintenance equipment, construction of new trails, development and rehabilitation of trailside and trailhead facilities, trail linkages, and acquisition of easements or property for trails.  Applicants may be non-profit organizations, private groups or government entities.

Funding for this grant round is limited more than years past. Project requests must be a minimum of $3,000, and maximum of $20,000. Application deadline is June 8th, 2012 at 4pm.

Funding for the Recreational Trail Program is generated from federal gas tax dollars paid on fuel purchases for off-highway recreational vehicles and snowmobiles. These funds are appropriated to the states by the Federal Highway Administration as authorized through the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) of 2005. The program in New Hampshire is administered by the Bureau of Trails.

The Bureau of Trails is one of four bureaus in the Division of Parks and Recreation.  The Division is comprised of the Parks Bureau, Bureau of Historic Sites, Bureau of Trails, and Cannon Mountain . The Division manages 92 properties, including state parks, beaches, campgrounds, historic sites, trails, waysides, and natural areas. The Division of Parks and Recreation is one of four divisions of the Department of Resources and Economic Development. To learn more, visit www.nhstateparks.org or call 603-271-3556.


Editors Note:  Late last year, the RTP funding for 2012 was pulled back due to a formula realignment of which recalculated the amount of money given to NH in prior years.  This recalculation meant that NH owed the federal government over $600k and so the 2011 RTP funding allocation was kept to offset that payment. 

In the meantime, Congress has been passing continuing resolutions extending the prior transportation bill and this has resulted in some RTP funds building back up again. 

The big problem with this RTP round is timing.  Normally clubs use some GIA money to help meet the 20% match required under RTP.  This will not be possible this year because the RTP will be awarded after GIA funding has already been decided.  Even if the timing was not a problem, the funds available for GIA projects are way down due to the lack of registrations last winter and so using GIA for a match may not have been possible anyway.

Therefore it appears that any clubs that want to apply for RTP funding will have to come up with the 20% match on their own.  This could be difficult given the poor winter we just experienced.  Our club will be looking at the RTP program very carefully over the next few weeks to determine if we can afford the match. 

We have one major project we would like to get done under this program, which is the relocation of Cor. 19 out of the swamp near the junction of Cor. 19 and PT117.  This project has been on the drawing board for over 5 years, but we were unable to act on it because the landowner did not know where the power lines for the Phillips Brook wind power project  would be located.  Now that those power lines are in place, we have been working with the landowner to determine a suitable route along that right of way.

Over the past winter, we were encouraged by the fact that our membership was only down 25% in a year where registrations were down by over 50%.  The strong support of our members will be taken into account when we make this critical decision about applying for RTP funding.  If each of our members were to contribute an extra $10 next fall, it would provide the club with the matching funds needed for the RTP grant.


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