Resources and Library:
use Recreational Trails Program funds for a variety of trail-related
training, education, and trail assessments for improving accessibility.
Funding Trails Training with State Resources
By Christopher Douwes
Universal trail Assessment Process training
The Recreational Trails Program (RTP) provides funds to the States
for recreational trails and trail-related projects. States may use RTP
funds to do trail assessments and to provide education and training.
Here are excerpts of the draft 2006 Revised Recreational Trails
Program Guidance relating to Trail Assessments and Education
Category F: Assessment of trail conditions for accessibility and maintenance,
authorizes specific projects to assess trails to determine the level
of accessibility for people who have disabilities, to develop programs
to provide trail access information, and to assess trails for current
or future maintenance needs.
OMB Circulars allow some employee training costs; therefore, some costs
for training in trail assessment techniques may be eligible under Category
F, and would not have to be subject to the 5 percent limitation for
educational projects under Category G. See:
- Training for State, Local, and Indian Tribal government employees
- Training for Nonprofit Organization employees
- National Trails Training Partnership for trail assessment information.
A State may provide funds for trail assessments through:
- Hiring professional trailbuilders or assessors.
- Hiring professionals to provide on-the-job training for others to
do trail assessments, such as youth conservation or service corps
participants, State or local staff, or volunteers.
- Using youth conservation or service corps, State or local staff,
Category G: Development and dissemination of publications and operation
of educational programs to promote safety and environmental protection,
(as those objectives relate to one or more of the use of recreational
trails, supporting non-law enforcement trail safety and trail use monitoring
patrol programs, and providing trail-related training), authorizes a
State to use up to 5 percent of its apportionment each fiscal year for
the operation of educational programs to promote safety and environmental
protection as those objectives relate to the use of recreational trails.
This is the maximum allowable: a State may use less than this amount.
A State may provide education and training for government agency
staff (including Federal, Tribal, State, and local), youth corps,
nonprofit organizations, contractors, volunteers, and the general public.
A State may use professional trail builders or trainers to provide
training, including qualified youth conservation or service corps. States
may provide training within the State or have regional training among
neighboring States. See information on trail training coordinated through
the National Trails Training Partnership at www.NTTP.net.
Education projects may include:
- Develop and operate trail safety education programs
- Develop and operate trail-related environmental education programs.
- Develop and provide training on trail accessibility and sustainability
(see also Category F).
- Produce trail-related educational materials, including information
displays, in print, video, audio, interactive computer displays, etc.
- Trail patrols to monitor trail use, safety, conditions, and/or
- Trail patrols to provide trailside assistance such as providing
emergency aid, search and rescue, helping trail users repair equipment,
- Trail patrols to educate trail users, to protect environmentally
- Develop and deliver training that promotes safety or environmental
protection related to recreational trails. This includes training
related to trail planning, design, construction, maintenance, operation,
and assessment, because each of these steps can relate directly to
safety and environmental protection. Note: this does not include training
related to club or organizational development or grant-writing skills.
- Develop or support publications related to trail planning, design,
construction, maintenance, operation, and assessment, because these
steps relate to safety and environmental protection.
- States are encouraged to enter into contracts and cooperative agreements
with qualified youth conservation or service corps to develop and
provide training and to work in trail patrols.
- States using RTP funds to develop training and education materials
and programs should acknowledge the RTP and the FHWA. Written materials
developed with RTP funds and the results of the planning and research
developed with RTP funds should be available to the general public.
Except in rare circumstances, materials produced with RTP funds should
be available as public domain material.
Some materials are only partially educational. For example, a trail
system map generally is not an education project. However, if one
side of a map is dedicated to trail safety and environmental protection
education, then educational funds may participate in half of the
cost of the map.
State Administrative Costs
Category H: Payment of costs to the State incurred in administering
the program, but in an amount not to exceed 7 percent of the apportionment
made to the State for the fiscal year to carry out this section,
authorizes a State to use up to 7 percent of its apportionment each
fiscal year for State administrative costs. This is the maximum
allowable: a State may use less than this amount. A State must have
sufficient documentation to justify its administrative costs.
Allowable administrative costs include items such as:
- Staff time to administer the RTP, including meeting and travel
costs, and attendance at trail-related training sessions and conferences.
- Costs related to the State recreational trail advisory committee,
including meeting and travel costs, and committee member attendance
at trail-related training sessions and conferences.
- Develop and deliver training for project sponsors on how to
apply for RTP funds in the State.
- Newsletters, websites, or other communications related to recreational
- Develop or support publications related to trail planning,
design, construction, maintenance, operation, and assessment.
- Statewide trail planning related to the RTP. Because the RTP
requires a statewide trail plan, States may use their administrative
funds to develop and update a statewide trail plan.
- Trail conference support. States using RTP funds for conference
support should acknowledge the RTP and the FHWA, and invite FHWA
division office participation.
- States using RTP funds to develop publications, manuals, and
other materials should acknowledge the RTP and the FHWA. Written
materials developed with RTP funds and the results of the planning
and research developed with RTP funds should be available to the
general public. Except in rare circumstances, materials produced
with RTP funds should be available as public domain material.
For more information on the Recreational Trails Program funding,
and guidance on all aspects of the program, visit the Federal Highway
Administration website: www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/rectrails.
Find more on Funding and Federal
Funding Programs at www.AmericanTrails.org (click on "Resources")
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