Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance

The Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program implements the natural resource conservation and outdoor recreation mission of the National Park Service in communities across America.

RTCA will help create local, regional and state networks of parks, rivers, trails, greenways and open spaces

credit: Flickr
by collaborating with community partners and National Park areas in every state.
Related Programs

Examples of Funded Projects

Fiscal Year 2017: The funded programs implements natural resource conservation and the outdoor recreation mission of the National Park Service in communities across America: HIKING TRAILS STEWARDSHIP AND OUTREACH, GROUNDWORK RICHMOND-CAPACITY BUILDING & PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT, CANOEMOBILE: ENGAGING YOUTH IN THEIR URBAN WATERWAYS.

Fiscal Year 2018: Program has not yet selected projects for funding.

Fiscal Year 2019: Program has not yet selected projects for funding.

Agency - Department of the Interior

The Department of the Interior protects and provides access to the Nation's natural and cultural heritage, including responsibilities to Indian tribes and island communities. Departmental goals include resource protection and usage, overseeing recreational opportunities, serving communities and excellence in management.

Selected Recipients for this Program

RecipientAmount Start DateEnd Date
Caldwell County Pathways, Inc. $ 5,000   2016-05-312018-01-31
Cultural Resources, North Carolina Department Of $ 2,600   2016-05-232017-10-30
Fort Defiance Incorporated $ 5,000   2016-05-232017-03-31
Altapass Foundation, Inc $ 5,000   2016-05-192017-01-30
Gaffney, City Of $ 4,416   2016-05-242016-10-14
Yadkin River Greenway Council $ 5,000   2016-05-242016-10-14
Santa Monica Mountains Fund $ 86,000   2008-09-182011-09-30
Howard University $ 19,998   2009-05-012010-12-31
Nebraska Games And Parks Commission $ 27,500   2009-09-302010-09-30
Board Of Regents, University Of Nebraska D/b/ $ 4,257   2009-06-012010-02-15

Program Accomplishments

Fiscal Year 2017: 31 Grants were funded. Fiscal Year 2018: Data not available. Fiscal Year 2019: Data not available.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Projects must meet the resource conservation and outdoor recreation mission of the National Park Service.

For more specific information contact the regional or headquarters office.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Private nonprofit organizations and Federal, State and local government agencies.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Private nonprofit organizations and Federal, State and local government agencies.


. 2 CFR 200, Subpart E - Cost Principles applies to this program.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

Program advice and information is available from the appropriate NPS Regional Office or the National Office.

Consultation with an RTCA staff before an application for assistance is made helps clarify RTCA roles and contributions and also helps identify how the selection criteria might apply to your conservation and outdoor recreation goals. Information is available electronically at http://www.nps.gov/rtca or you may contact the appropriate regional RTCA program leader.

An environmental impact statement is required for this program.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.


Application Procedures

This program is excluded from coverage under 2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards. Funding announcements for this program, along with registration procedures, application packages and instructions, points of contact, and procedures for submitting applications will be available on www.grants.gov.

Award Procedures

Proposals received in response announcements on grants.gov are reviewed on the basis of a competitive, merit-based review process, and are rated in accordance with the evaluation criteria stated in the announcement. Awards may be made to the highest rated proposals based on the amount of funding available each year.


Not Applicable.



Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Deadline information will be included in all funding opportunity announcements posted on www.grants.gov. Varies depending on the type and complexity of the project, generally about four months. Further information will be available for each specific project at the time the funding opportunity announcement is posted on www.grants.gov and may be obtained by contacting the Program Manager listed as the point of contact.


None. Final award decisions are not subject to appeal; however, the National Park Service will provide applicants with information on why their proposals were not selected for award.


Assistance is for one year and may be renewed for a second year if warranted.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

Statutory formulas are not applicable to this program. Matching Requirements: No fixed amount. Applications must demonstrate commitment by interested public agencies and non-profit organizations. MOE requirements are not applicable to this program.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Generally 1 to 2 years. See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/released: Generally 1 to 2 years.

Post Assistance Requirements


Program reports are not applicable.

Cash reports are not applicable.

Unless otherwise stated in the agreement document, recipients shall submit the following reports on an annual basis: (1) SF-425, Federal Financial Report; and (2) Program Performance Reports.

Upon completion of the agreement, recipients shall submit a final: (1) SF-425, Federal Financial Report; and (2) Program Performance Report; and (3) other specific reports that may be applicable to the agreement such as property inventories, and patent and invention disclosures.

SF-425, Federal Financial Report.

Program Performance Report.


In accordance with the provisions of 2 CFR 200, Subpart F - Audit Requirements, non-Federal entities that expend financial assistance of $750,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Non-Federal entities that expend less than $750,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in 2 CFR 200.503.


No Data Available.

Financial Information

Account Identification



(Advisory Services and Counseling) FY 17 $1,448,588; FY 18 est $2,000,000; and FY 19 est $2,000,000 - FY 17: $1,448,588, FY 18 est: $2,000,000, FY 19 est: $ 2,000,000.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

Range: $3,000.00 - $330,000.00 Average: $150,000.00.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

2 CFR, Part 200, 43 CFR, OMB Circulars, standard forms, and program information.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office


Headquarters Office

Stephan Nofield 1849 C Street, NW., (ORG CODE 2240), Washington, District of Columbia 20240 Email: Stephan_nofield@nps.gov Phone: (202) 354-6922

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Specific evaluation criteria will be included in the funding announcements posted on www.grants.gov. Selection may be based on the following: Initial project partners are identified and a lead project partner is designated. Note: The lead partner may be a state or local agency, tribe, non- profit organization, or citizens' group. Federal agencies, including the National Park Service, maybe the lead partner only in collaboration with a nonfederal partner. Project has specific, partner- defined goals and anticipated measurable results that are: clearly stated; support the National Park Service mission and RTCA mission and strategic plan goals; protect important natural resources or enhance outdoor recreation opportunities; and will have results that occur within an appropriate timeframe. (3) There is a commitment by lead project partners to significant public involvement and outreach in the project. (4) Roles and contributions of initial project partners, including RTCA, are identified. There is a commitment by initial project partners to cooperate and to provide or obtain the resources necessary to implement the project. (5) There is evidence of broad support for the project. Preference is given to a project that also: (a) provides physical connections among resources; (b) includes an NPS area as an actively involved project partner; (c) includes both natural resource conservation and outdoor recreation; (d) partners with a health organization.

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