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Jumpstart Your Next Trail Project with Professional Funding Advice

The overwhelming communal benefits of a multi-use trail network are well-documented. Beyond providing recreational opportunities, a well-established trail system encourages a healthy lifestyle and alternative transportation methods, promotes strong community development, and significantly boosts the local economy. The biggest hurdle for many communities aspiring to create or expand a trail system is adequate funding.

This well-established trail system not only encourages a healthy lifestyle but also provides the community with a safe route to do so

Most paved trail projects require multiple funding sources to become a reality. This typically includes local or regional government contributions, private donations, and state and/or federal funds. However, navigating the complex network of funding programs and coordinating the various sources to meet a project’s needs is a cumbersome process. Most funding options have specific criteria that must be met to qualify, and expert guidance is essential to ensure a project receives the funding it needs to guarantee success.

At Snyder & Associates, we have decades of experience working with the Departments of Natural Resources (DNR), Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT), Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA), Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation (INHF), as well as countless County Conservation agencies, city staff, and county leadership teams across the Midwest. Additionally, our professionals have substantial experience writing and administering successful grant applications from numerous programs to help secure funding for planning and constructing trails, trail networks, and other related infrastructure.

State and Federal Trail Funding Assistance Programs

Federal Recreational Trails Program

Open to most public agencies, non-profits, and private organizations, this program allocates funds to provide and maintain motorized and non-motorized recreational trails and trail-related projects. With a $1.3 annual funding level, numerous qualifications must be met to receive this funding. Applications are due yearly on October 1st.

State Recreational Trails Program

Open to state agencies, counties, cities, and non-profit organizations, this program was established to fund public recreational trails. While the funding level fluctuates yearly, numerous qualifications and special project requirements must be met to receive this funding. In Iowa, applications are due yearly on July 1st.

Statewide Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP)

Encompassing broader eligibility requirements, this program funds programs and projects defined as transportation alternatives, such as;

  • on- and off-road pedestrian and bicycle facilities and infrastructure projects for improving non-driver access to public transportation and enhanced mobility
  • recreational trail projects
  • safe routes to school projects

In Iowa, applications are due yearly on October 1st.

Regional Transportation Alternatives Programs (TAP)

Various statewide agencies and organizations have similar TAP funding options. Application due dates vary by jurisdiction.

Community Attraction & Tourism (CAT)

This program provides funding to assist communities with developing and creating multipurpose attractions or tourism facilities, including recreational trails, heritage attractions, and several other venues. In Iowa, applications are due yearly on October 15th.

Customized Services Designed to Match Client Needs

A couple walking onto a covered bridge on the Easter Lake Trail in Polk County.

Easter Lake Trail covered bridge.

Through navigating the grant application options and sometimes arduous administration process, the professionals with Snyder & Associates take care of all aspects, including writing and reviewing applications, providing concept plans, and designing location maps and cross-sections. When ready to proceed with construction, our team will develop cost opinions, project schedules, track expenditures, budgets, and matching funds while strictly adhering to state or federal reporting requirements and following all state or federal processes during property acquisitions, engineering design, and construction.

At Snyder & Associates, our team members work and live in the communities that we serve. The relationships we build with our clients allow us to fully engage and understand their needs before we work towards a solution. Regarding trail funding and building, we tailor our services to provide only what our clients want and need. And we help them get the funding necessary to make their trail design project successful.

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