Financial Resources:

Recreation Trails Program (RTP): The RTP is an assistance program of the U.S. Dept. of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).  Federal transportation funds benefit a wide variety of recreational trails for both non-motorized and motorized uses.  RTP provides funds to help develop & maintain recreational trails and trail-related facilities. RTP can reimburse sponsors up to 80% of total project costs.  Municipalities and nonprofit organizations may apply. For more information, contact Sherry Winnie, VT Dept. of Forests, Parks & Recreation, Waterbury, VT at 802-241-3690 or go to:

Vermont Urban and Community Forestry Program The U&CF program provides a variety of technical assistance for communities, including  trainings & workshops, educational publications, onsite assistance from regional staff, and a quarterly newsletter, the Town Green. Additionally, the program offers a competitive cost-share grant program, “Trees for Local Communities”, designed to encourage citizen involvement in creating and supporting long-term and sustainable urban and community forestry programs. For more information, contact Danielle Fitzko at 802/241-3673 or

Vermont Housing & Conservation Board (VHCB) VHCB makes grants and loans for the purchase of conservation easements or land to provide public access to trails, water, or greenways, to conserve agricultural land and natural areas, to protect archaeological sites, to acquire historic sites for public use, or for the development of affordable housing. Funding is also available for associated project costs such as appraisals, options, closing costs, or other predevelopment costs. Contact VHCB, 149 State St., Montpelier, VT 05602 @: (802) 828-3250 or go to: http://

Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTRANS):  Bicycle & Pedestrian Program VTrans works with the states, 11regional planning commissions and the Chittenden County Metropolitan Planning Organization each year to identify bicycle and pedestrian facility projects (multi-use paths, sidewalks, and rail-trails) that can be funded through the Local Transportation Facilities Program.  For Bicycle & Pedestrian funding opportunities, contact Jon Kaplan at 802/828-0059 or email

Transportation Enhancements (TE) Program:  TE activities are federally funded by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), community-based projects that expand travel choices and enhance the transportation experience by improving the cultural, historic, aesthetic and environmental aspects of our transportation infrastructure.  TE projects can include creation of bicycle and pedestrian facilities, streetscape improvements, refurbishment of historic transportation facilities, and other investments that enhance communities and access. Coordination with your Regional Planning Agency is strongly encouraged. For more about the types of projects and/or activities eligible for TE funding, contact Kevin Russell at 802-828-0683 or go to:

Safe Routes to Schools Program (SRTS):  SRTS is a national program encouraging children to walk and bicycle to school.  Funds available for infrastructure improvements, safety education, and enforcement of safety laws. SRTS seeks to make it easier for all Vermont children, including those with disabilities, to enjoy the outdoors and become more physically active.  For more information go to:

Federal Lands Highway Program (FLHP):   FLHP roads serve federal lands for which state and local governments are not responsible to promote “recreational travel and tourism, protect and enhance natural resources, provide sustained economic development in rural areas, and provide needed transportation access for Native Americans.”  Despite being a “highway” program, trails often benefit as they fulfill the recreational travel and tourism requirement of the program.  Funding for projects that are on, adjacent to, or providing access to federal public lands; Call: 802-828-0057, VTrans, National Life Building, Drawer 33, Montpelier, VT 05633.

National Scenic Byways Program:  Provides resources to the byway community in creating a unique travel experience and enhanced local quality of life through efforts to preserve, protect, interpret, and promote the intrinsic qualities of designated byways; for projects including acquisition, development and planning along designated scenic byways. Contact Scenic Byway Coordinator 802-828-0451, VTrans, National Life Building, Drawer 33, Montpelier, VT  05633.

Land & Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) The LWCF program provides funds to develop recreational opportunities in public parks.  Grants are available for land acquisition and projects to develop public outdoor recreation areas & facilities. A 50% local match is required. Funds are available to municipalities. Contact: Ed O’Leary, Vermont Dept. of Forests, Parks & Recreation, 103 South Main Street - 10 South, Waterbury, VT 05671-0601, telephone: (802) 241-3683 or e-mail:

Vermont Watershed Grants Funded by sales of Vermont’s Conservation License Plates, grants are available for a wide range of water-related projects, including developing or enhancing recreational use and enjoyment. November deadline. For grant information go to: or call 802-241-3777

VT Agency of Natural Resources
Water Quality Division
Building 10 North
103 South Main St,
Waterbury, VT 05671-0408


Vermont Youth Conservation Corps (VYCC) VYCC is a non-profit youth, leadership, service, conservation, & education organization that instills in individuals the values of personal responsibility, hard work, education, & respect for the environment.  Each year, the VYCC hires young people ages 16-24 who work & study together under adult leadership to complete high-priority conservation projects such as state park management, trail maintenance, & backcountry construction. For information about securing VYCC crews for a project contact: Keegan Tierney at 434-3969 X – 140 or go to:


Office of Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Prevention. There are several programs including Drug Free Communities, Title V: Community Prevention Grants, and Formula Grants. Contact:

Juvenile Justice Specialist, Planning Division
Agency of Human Services,
103 So. Main St.,
Waterbury, VT 05671-0203.
Call at 802-241-2953.

Vermont Recreation & Park Association (VRPA): VRPA is an organization of professionals and volunteers who work to improve and expand recreation and park services in Vermont. For more information, contact: Betsy Orselet 802/878-2077.

National Park Service (NPS) Rivers and Trails Program: The NPS Rivers & Trails Program has information on funding sources at their web site,

VT Directory of Foundations: To explore grants in Vermont, a great place to start is the Vermont Directory of Foundations.  The Directory covers foundations incorporated in Vermont as well as those outside of Vermont making regular Vermont contributions, and is the only publication specifically designed for VT grant seekers. For more information, go to:

Vermont State Library: Located on State Street, Montpelier, this library is affiliated with the national Foundation Center. In addition to printed resources, the library now has the Foundation Center CD-ROM listing of all foundations in the United States.

The Foundation Center ( is a national information center on corporate & private foundations, community foundations, & grant making public charities. They publish The Foundation Directory, a national reference with detailed descriptions and giving histories that you can find at most libraries. You can also subscribe to it online at the Foundation Center’s website. Also, check the Environmental Grant maker’s Association Directory @

Vermont Community Foundation (VCF) This is the one foundation you should check outfrom the beginning. VCF is a public charity providing $1,000 to $10,000 grants to projects that make a significant difference to the state and address a clear community need in the areas of environment, public affairs, community development, social services, education or the arts. April 1 and October 1deadlines. Contact Scott McCardle at the VT Community Foundation, Three Court Street, P.O. Box 30, Middlebury, VT 05753, telephone: 802/388-3355. Check out VCF’s Guide for Grant makers on their web site at:

In addition to state & federal agencies there are many foundations, some located in Vermont, & some located outside of Vermont that might make grants to appropriate trail projects.  Other than land protection, parks and recreation are generally not high on the list for funding and often foundations do not give to governmental agencies. So, it is important with any foundation prospecting to call ahead to discuss your project and request specific guidelines.  Be sure to focus on your specific project needs that best fit the goals of the foundation’s giving program.  Good luck, and have fun exploring!  Here’s some sites you may want to check out:


American Trails:

The Alliance for Biking & Walking:

Ben & Jerry’s Foundation:

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation:

Central VT Public Service grants:

Ford Foundation:

General Electric (G.E.) Foundation:

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters:

L.L. Bean:

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation:

W.K. Kellogg Foundation: