2019 Grants are now closed.

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Guidelines and Checklist

The Doppelt Family Trail Development Fund, launched in 2015, is managed by RTC and provides funding to support organizations and municipalities that are implementing projects to build and improve multi-use trails.

In 2019, RTC will award $105,000 of the Doppelt Fund to organizations and local agencies that are working to improve and connect trails across the country. A wide range of projects and activities are eligible under two grant types:

Community Support Grant

3-4 grants awarded in the $5,000 - $10,000 range

This grant type acts as capacity building for local nonprofit organizations or “Friends of the Trail” groups that need critical funding to help get trail development or improvement efforts off the ground. Examples of this type of grant include, but are not limited to: promoting a local trail project in the local media, conducting feasibility studies or adding personnel or volunteer coordination capacity.

Project Transformation Grant

1-2 grants awarded in the $15,000 - $50,000 range

The Project Transformation Grant is intended to have a substantial impact on an organization’s ability to complete a significant trail development or improvement project. These funds, where appropriate, will serve as a catalyst to start such large projects and could be used to leverage other funding sources through matching opportunities. Activities may include, but are not limited to: new trail construction, trail facility/infrastructure (e.g., trailheads, bathrooms), land acquisition, trail signage, improvements to existing trails and significant maintenance tasks.

Eligibility Requirements

  • While applications for projects on rail-trails and rails-with-trails will be given preference, rail-trail designation is not a requirement. However, the trail must serve or plan to serve multiple user types (e.g., bicycling, walking/hiking) and be considered a trail, greenway, multi-use trail or shared-use path.
  • The project must advance trail development, help establish corridor connections or improve current conditions on the trail.
  • Eligible grantees include: nonprofit organizations; state, regional, local or tribal government agencies; and other organizations. Private individuals may not apply.
  • Projects must be initiated by December 2019.
  • All applicants must join RTC’s Trail Expert Network to apply.
  • Only one application per group/agency will be accepted.

RTC will review and evaluate all applications and award four to six grants to projects following the timeline below:

Timeline and Grant Accountability

  • Dec. 1, 2018 – Online Application process opens.
  • Jan. 31, 2019 – Application must be submitted by 11 p.m. EST.
  • May 30, 2019 – RTC will announce awards.
  • June 1, 2020 – Final Project Report due to RTC.

Application Procedures

  1. Carefully review guidelines above.
  2. Download the Grant Application Worksheet to prepare all answers prior to beginning the application.
  3. Apply for the Doppelt Fund using the Online Application
     - Once you begin the grant application, you will NOT be able to save your progress.
     - All applications MUST be submitted electronically.
     - Submit your application by 11 p.m. (EST) on Jan. 31, 2019. Late applications will not be accepted under any circumstances.


✔  I have registered for RTC’s Trail Expert Network.

✔  I have thoroughly read the guidelines above and confirmed my eligibility to apply.

✔  I have reviewed the Grant Application Worksheet and am prepared to submit all necessary information including:

  • TrailLink ID if applicable
  • Project map

✔  I am able to apply for this grant on behalf of my organization.

✔  Apply online.

Have questions? Feel free to contact us.

Note: RTC received nearly 200 applications in 2018, and we are expecting similar numbers this year. Please do not contact RTC staff in advance of your application submission to inquire about its competitiveness. All completed applications are fully reviewed and considered equally.