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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 comes down to adequate funding.

The vast majority of paved trail projects require multiple sources of funding 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, along with 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 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 administered by 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 the development and creation of multipurpose attractions or tourism facilities, including recreational trails and heritage attractions, as well as several other venues. In Iowa, applications are due yearly on October 15th.

Customized Services Designed to Match Client Needs

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, as well as track expenditures, budgets & matching funds, all 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. When it comes to 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 project a success.

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