This grant program is not currently accepting applications.
ERSA Trail Grants are intended to support non-profit organizations and municipalities around the state as they work to steward and restore their community's trails and improve trail accessibility and access for this generation and the next.
For this funding round, the ERSA Trail Grants program had $1 million to award to local communities and non-profit organizations across Vermont. Grant minimums were set at $25,000 with no maximum. No match was required.
Award Recipients Announced
After receiving 68 full grant applications and over $4.1 million in requests, we are delighted to announce the 12 projects that are receiving awards:
Recordings from Past Information Meetings
2021 Outdoor Recreation Grant Funding Information Meeting
This meeting was held on Monday, July 19 from 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. During the meeting staff from the Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation shared detailed information about both the VOREC Community Grant Program and Enhancement of Recreational Stewardship and Access (ERSA) Trail Grant Program. They also responded to questions shared by prospective applicants.
- Review the meeting presentation slides
- Watch the recording on YouTube - Welcome from Commissioner Snyder (0:13:56). Review of Key deadlines (00:20:15). Review of VOREC Community Grant Program (00:22:50). Review of ERSA Trail Grant Program (00:39:34). Supplemental application documents review (00:49:53). Q&A discussion begins (00:52:16).
ERSA Trail Grant Application Development Meetings
These meetings were held as opportunities for interested applicants to strengthen their grant applications. Each meeting covered the same agenda. Interested applicants who attended had an opportunity to hear from eachother, learn more about the letter of interest and important points for the full application to start thinking about now.
ERSA Trail Grant Application Development Meeting #1 - Held on Thursday, August 5, 2021 from 3PM - 4:30PM
ERSA Trail Grant Application Meeting #2 - Held on Wednesday, August 11 from 6PM - 7:30PM
- Watch the recording (Meeting #2)
- Friday, August 27 - Letters of Interest due
- Week of October 4 (updated) - FPR invites applicants with eligible projects to submit a full application. Only those invited may submit a full grant application.
- Monday, November 29 by 5 PM EST (updated) - Full applications due by 5 p.m.
Ranking Meeting and (tentative) Grant Announcement Schedule
- Week of December 13, 2021 - Grant Ranking Committee Meeting
- Week of December 20, 2021 – Grant Recommendations given to Commissioner
- Week of January 10, 2022 – Grant Award announcements
- TBD – Grant Agreements Prepared
- TBD – Grants Fully Executed
Who is Eligible
Non-profit organizations and municipal entities
With sufficient written landowner permissions given to applicants, grants will be awarded for work on trails over privately-owned properties and/or conserved parcels of privately owned land, and/or and city, town, state, or federal properties.
- Major trail maintenance or reconstruction/renovation of existing trails;
- New construction of trails, trail linkages, or new trailhead parking areas and/or new trailside facilities that result in improving access or accessibility for new or underserved populations;
- Tool purchases and equipment rentals to support the above;
- Educational projects or educational components that are trail-related and help develop or improve trail stewardship, access, or accessibility for new or underserved populations; may include new programs, trail-user information, public information about trail safety, appropriate trail use, managed and allowable uses, or mapping services for public use.
- Trail corridor/trail easement acquisitions to support the above in conformance with the Sate’s real property acquisition policies and public right-of-way procedures.
Ineligible Activities and Expenses
- Campground or park facilities;
- Clothing, event support, food/beverages, publicity, political activities
- Condemnation of any kind of interest in property;
- Construction of recreational trails on land where there is no landowner permission and support not sufficiently given to the applicant for work associated with the proposed project and for future public access and public use, or where the proposed trail use is not permitted;
- Equipment purchases;
- Feasibility studies (or stand-alone planning);
- General land acquisition;
- Law enforcement;
- An organization or municipality’s operational expenses.
- Picnic facilities;
- Play equipment;
- Promotional items;
For more information about the Enhancement of Recreational Stewardship and Access (ERSA) Trail Grant Program please contact: Sherry Smecker Winnie, Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation, 1 National Life Drive, Davis 2, Montpelier, VT 05620-3801 Cell Phone: 802-760-8450 or E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org