Land Trails Mini-Grant Details

Content Includes:

  • General Information
  • Eligibility
  • Application Submission Process

General Information

The PA Land Trails mini-grant program is a project of the Pennsylvania Environmental Council which is funded by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources through DCNR’s Environmental Stewardship Fund administered by the Bureau of Recreation and Conservation.

This program will provide mini-grants of $500 to encourage trail celebrations during the month of September in recognition of PA Trails month. All projects, related costs and funding must conform to the guidelines of the PA DCNR Community Conservation Partnership Program:

Mini-Grants require a 1:1 local match in the form of cash and/or eligible non-cash (in-kind) services.

  • No portion of the cash match can originate from DCNR funding.
  • In-kind match – the value of municipal labor and/or professional services is equal to the hourly billable rate multiplied by the number of hours performing that service or job. The value of volunteer in-kind will be valued at the current Independent Sector Volunteer Rate for Pennsylvania at the time the work was performed please visit for current volunteer value.
  • Applicants must provide proof of match commitment.

The grant program will disburse $400 to successful applications, with $100 held until final close out of the project. Costs should be described specifically in the budget. Final reports are due by 12/31/19, with final payment coming within 60 days of submission.


Important Dates:

  • Grant Round Opens: April 15, 2019
  • Application Deadline: May 15, 2019
  • Award recipients notified: week of June 15, 2019


Contact: Frank Maguire



Who is eligible?

Eligible applicants include non-profit organizations with tax-exempt status 501(c)(3), municipalities, counties and educational institutions.

Non-profit organizations must submit proof of non-profit status and be registered with the PA Department of State Bureau of Charitable Organizations.

What kind of project is eligible?

The focus will be on single day, public trail events during the month of September. An expansive definition of trails maybe applied, but the emphasis we are looking for will be on human-powered recreation on public lands. Water-based events are not included as there is already the River Sojourns mini-grant program available to those events.

Some examples of events that are eligible.

  • A learn to ride a bike event
  • A ribbon cutting event
  • A fundraiser for your trail
  • A history walk on the trail
  • A nature walk with an interpreter to explain the flora and fauna along the trail
  • A volunteer clean up or trail building day might count, but will have to be unique enough to score well.

The key ingredients are public participation and a trail. The funds could be used to bring in an expert, pay for transportation/shuttle service, advertise the event or make equipment available for the public.

We will award creativity and encourage new events or efforts to engage new audiences with these grants, so such proposals will score higher in the review process. What won’t be funded – ongoing maintenance, planning efforts, equipment purchases. The grant cannot be used for swag or event giveaways (but those things can be counted as match in certain circumstances). As a first year grant opportunity, feel free to contact me (Frank Maguire) to discuss.


Total Points available = 100

Bonus points for “wow factor” (exceptional creativity, concept, partnership, etc.) = 5
Project Narrative

  • Well-defined project with clear focus and a way to measure success. (25 points)
  • Demonstrated support from community partners, including agencies, businesses and elected officials. (10 points)
  • Project advances trail awareness in PA. Points based on strength of public outreach beforehand and plans for publicity and documentation. (10 points)



  • Budget is complete and provides a minimum of a 1-to-1 matching ratio (10 points)
  • Local match is secured and documented (5 points)
  • Budget is adequate to achieve goals (5 points)


  • If you are not the owner/land manager of the trail, application must include authorization from relevant agency. If an agreement is required and in process at time of application, please provide documentation and contact information. PEC reserves the right to probationally award the grant (but not release the funds) until the agreement is issued. (10 points)
  • Letters from all partners included in application (5 points)
  • Copy of event insurance certificate (5 points) This can also be submitted closer to event date, but funds maybe withheld until provided.

WOW factor

  • Project is exceptional in its creativity, range of partners, value to community, financing or other outstanding feature(s). (10 points)



  • The application must be submitted electronically via the PEC website: XXXXXX
    It is not necessary to complete the entire application in a single session; you may save your progress and return later to complete the application. However, please note: unlike text entered in form fields, document uploads cannot be saved between sessions. Documents should be uploaded at the time of submission.
  • Application narratives should be clear and concise.
  • All required supporting documents should be attached as either WORD or PDF documents and should be identified as your application’s documents.


Applicant Responsibility:

  • Submit a project that meets the goal of the mini-grant program.
  • Secure local match at a minimum ratio of 1:1 (can be cash and/or in-kind services).
  • Provide letters of commitment from partners providing local match; letters should describe the type of program assistance, match amount and how that partner is contributing to the success of the project.
  • Demonstrate the ability to successfully host the event and within budget.
  • Submit application on time – by 4:00 pm on April 15, 2019
  • For non-profit applicants: provide current proof of IRS 501(c)3 non-profit status and registration with the PA Bureau of Charitable Organizations. If you are not able to provide this documentation, a qualifying entity must serve as your fiscal agent.
  • Successful applicants will be required to enter into a mini grant agreement with PEC. All mini grant agreements will also require compliance with DCNR grant requirements.


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