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Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance (RTCA) Program

In-Kind Support to USA Nonprofits, Agencies, Tribes,
and Groups for Local Conservation Efforts

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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U.S. Department of the Interior - National Park Service (NPS)

Deadline Date:



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In-kind support to USA and territories nonprofit organizations, tribes, government agencies, and citizen groups for projects related to outdoor recreation and natural resources conservation. Applicants must contact the appropriate regional office before submitting an application.

The National Park Service – Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance program (RTCA) supports community-led natural resource conservation and outdoor recreation projects across the nation. NPS’s network of conservation and recreation planning professionals can partner with community groups, nonprofit organizations, tribes, and government agencies to realize your conservation and outdoor recreation vision by providing a range of services. National Park Service staff can share their expertise to help your team turn an idea into reality. No monetary grants are made.

NPS projects typically fall within five focus areas, although consideration will be given other projects that fall outside of these categories:

- Build healthy communities through parks, trails, and outdoor opportunities: Improve access to outdoor recreation and park amenties on land and water that support healthy lifestyles for all users
- Conserve natural lands, rivers, and watersheds: Strengthen the conservation and stewardship of public lands, waterways, and wildlife habitat
- Engage youth in outdoor recreation and stewardship: Connect young people to the outdoors to develop a lifelong appreciation of recreation and nature
- Strengthen the organizational capacity of project partners: Develop and strengthen effective and sustainable community organizations and partner groups
- Support National Park Service and community networks: Facilitate strategic planning and collaboration between national parks and communities to achieve shared goals

NPS Services:

NPS assistance is tailored to each organization's needs. Examples of the types of assistance NPS provides are listed below.

-Define project vision and goals
-Inventory and map community resources
-Identify and analyze key issues and opportunities
-Engage collaborative partners and stakeholders
-Design community outreach and participation strategies
-Develop concept plans for trails, parks, and natural areas
-Set priorities and build consensus
-Identify funding strategies
-Develop a sustainable organizational framework to support the project
-Create project management and strategic action plans
-Coaching teams, groups, and partnership networks

Applications for support from the Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance program are competitively evaluated based on the following criteria:

-The project has specific goals and results for conservation and outdoor recreation expected in the near future.
-Roles and contributions of project partners are significant and well-defined.
-There is evidence of broad community support for the project.
-The project fits with the NPS areas of focus (although proposals falling outside these areas are considered).

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 181356

Term of Contract:

NPS offers this assistance on an annual basis with extensions based on mutual agreement.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Project applicants may be state and local agencies, tribes, nonprofit organizations, or citizen groups. National Parks and other Federal agencies may apply in partnership with other local organizations.

Pre-Application Information:

Consulting a program manager prior to the application deadline is a requirement. Please contact program staff as early as possible before the June 30 application deadline to discuss your proposed project and inform us of your intent to apply as this will help ensure the best possible request for assistance.

You are encouraged to consult with National Park Service staff about your proposal at least 30 days prior to the application deadline to ensure that the assistance provided is appropriate for your proposal and that your application is the best that it can be. Staff can help with application questions and assist with formulating an application.

By June 30, send completed application package via email to your National Park Service Regional Program Manager.

Applicants will be notified of decisions before November 1. Project start times will be coordinated with you.


Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Please email your completed application to the Program Manager for your region and state:

Alaska Region:
Paul Clark, Program Manager

Pacific West Region (California, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, American Samoa, Guam):
Barbara Rice, Program Manager

Intermountain Region (Arizona, Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, Wyoming)
Attila Bality, Acting Program Manager

Midwest Region (Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnestota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin):
David Thomson, Program Manager

Southeast Region (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands):
Deirdre Hewitt, Program Manager

National Capital Region (District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia in counties along the Potomac River):
K Lynn Berry, Program Manager

Northeast Region (Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Isalnd, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia):
Helen Mahan, Program Manager

For local region contacts, see here:

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

USA Territories: American Samoa (USA)   Guam (USA)   Puerto Rico (USA)   Virgin Islands (USA)