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Recreation Educational Services Grants

Recreation Educational Services is responsible for administering federal and state recreational grant programs to local and state governments. The Division manages the Local Parks and Recreation Fund (LPRF), the Recreational Trails Program (RTP), and the Tennessee Recreation Initiative Program (TRIP), the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), and the Natural Resources Trust Fund (NRTF). The programs listed below have a match requirement and specific regulations for the applicants. If applications are selected for funding, the land must be publicly owned and a Notice of Limitation of Usage must be placed on the land parcel's deed protecting the land in perpetuity for public recreation. In certain instances publicly owned land that is leased from another public entity can qualify as land for certain grant programs listed below. 

Local Parks and Recreation Fund (LPRF) 

The LPRF program provides state funding for the purchase of land for parks, natural areas, greenways and the purchase of land for recreational facilities. Funds also may be used for trail development and capital projects in parks, natural areas and greenways. Recreation Educational Services administers the LPRF grants. These grants are a 50% match. For the 2018 LPRF Grant Application Cycle, the grant application minimum request is $25,000 ($50,000 total project) and the grant application maximum request is $500,000 ($1,000,000 total project). 

Recreational Trails Program (RTP)

The Recreational Trails Program (RTP) is a federal funded, state administered grant program. The RTP provides grant funding for land acquisition for trails, trail maintenance, trail construction, trail rehabilitation and for trail head support facilities. These funds are distributed in the form of an 80% grant with a 20% match. Local, state and federal land managing agencies are eligible to apply as well as state chartered, non-profit organizations with IRS 501 (c) (3) status that have a written agreement for trail management with an agency. All grant projects MUST be on publicly owned land. For the 2018 RTP Grant Application Cycle, the grant application minimum request is $20,000 ($25,000 total project) and the grant application maximum request is $200,000 ($250,000 total project). 

Tennessee Recreation Initiative Program (TRIP) 

The Tennessee Recreation Initiative Program (TRIP) apportions grant money to cities and counties who lack professional park and recreational directors and do not provide a comprehensive recreation delivery system in their community to assist with the establishment of the first Parks and Recreation Department. These grants are a three-year commitment, $50,000 grant matched equally by the communities.

Land and Water Conservation Funds (LWCF) 

The LWCF program provides matching grants to states to administer to state and local governments for the acquisition and development of public outdoor recreation areas and facilities. Recreation Educational Services administers the LWCF grants in Tennessee. These grants require a 50% match.