Montana’s administration of the Recreational Trails Program is an example of outstanding public service.
Montana State Parks administers the state's Recreational Trails Program. Since 2013, they have managed the entire RTP grant application process via an online Webgrants system, which has led to streamlining and efficiency in the grant-application and management process.
The RTP is the single most important and largest funding source for any trail-related efforts in Montana. As a result, the state works hard to allocate RTP funds to as many varied projects throughout the state as possible, taking into consideration geographical location, winter and summer projects, and motorized and non-motorized uses. They typically fund approximately 50-65 projects annually.
Every grant cycle, 100% of the available RTP funds are awarded to eligible projects statewide. In recent years, the amount of RTP grant requests has exceeded the available funding by two to three times. In response, Montana RTP obligates funds immediately and also re-allocates any unexpended funds in an effort to avoid federal rescission's.
The program’s typical grant is about $45,000. However, for truly exemplary projects, they have a “Big Grant” category, which typically involves one or two grants at $90,000. In addition, in an effort to assist regionally significant trail projects to move forward— for example, connections between one community and another— Montana established the Special Set-Aside Account that allows it to offer major grant opportunities every two to five years.
The CRT is very pleased to present our RTP Achievement Award for state trail programs to the State of Montana.
Montana State Parks trails program: http://stateparks.mt.gov/recreation/rtpGrants.html
2013: West Virginia