Seven ideas for funding non-motorized trails

April 15, 2014

By Scott Post, PE

Whenever I meet with a new non-motorized trails group or client, one of the first questions I am asked is, “Where can we get grants to pay for our trail?” If your group or community is planning a non-motorized trail, check out my seven favorite trail funding sources:

  1. Michigan’s Natural Resources Trust Fund (For example, Cannon trail)
    Grants a maximum of $300,000 per project. Applications are due April 1 each year.
  2. MDOT’s Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) (For example, Fred Meijer CIS Trail between Ionia and Owosso)
    Emphasizes regional trail connectivity.
  3. MDOT’s Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) Improvement Program (For example, Blue Star Trail)
    Can be used if your community is in a non-attainment zone for air quality. Trails can be constructed to provide access for alternative modes of transportation.
  4. Recreation or trails millages (For example, Spring Lake Township)
    Many communities have successfully passed trail millages to use for the development and maintenance of trail projects.
  5. Benefactors and Foundations (For example, Greenville Trail)
    Often local corporations in your community may see this as an opportunity to give back.
  6. Fund Drives (For examples, Big Rapids’ Access for All for the Riverwalk)
    Many local organizations will assist with fundraising for community projects that they support.
  7. MDOT’s Safe Routes to School program (For example, Allegan’s Monroe Street)
    Safe Routes to School funding will require a community non-motorized plan and the adoption of a Complete Streets ordinance.

Depending on your project, there are often creative ways to match funding sources with each other for a greater impact in funding your project! If you are wondering how to pay for your trail project, I would love to hear from you.

Scott Post is a board member at the West Michigan Trails and Greenways Coalition. He has designed nearly 150 miles of non-motorized trails in Michigan.

Greenville’s Flat River Trail received significant grants from Fred Meijer (a hometown native) and MDOT’s Transportation Enhancement Fund (now called TAP).

Greenville’s Flat River Trail received significant grants from Fred Meijer (a hometown native) and MDOT’s Transportation Enhancement Fund (now called TAP).


Recent

View More

State of Michigan offering $100,000 Sewer, Water, and Road Grants

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) is offering grants up to $100,000 to help qualifying rural communities fund local sewer, water, and road projects. The application deadline is January 16, 2018. Last year’s recipient projects include: City of Munising, M–28 to Foster Street Project, $150,000 Houghton County, Houghton County Airpark Sewer System, […]

Learn More >

City of Montague Takes Action to Save Local Road

As Dowling Street leaves downtown Montague, it climbs a steep hill. The hill’s foundation is mostly sand, and an old retaining wall and vegetation rooted on its side slope kept it from sliding away. Over the last several years, the hill’s side slope eroded and slumped, threatening to take the sidewalk and part of the […]

Learn More >

Walker Pedestrian Tunnel at M-45 wins ITE Award

Congratulations to the City of Walker and our P&N project team on the success of the Fred Meijer Standale Trail Pedestrian Tunnel at M–45 project. The project won the 2017 Transportation Achievement Award from the Michigan Section of the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE). This award recognizes excellence in the advancement of transportation to meet human needs. The […]

Learn More >

Prein&Newhof chosen for PSMJ 2017 Circle of Excellence

Prein&Newhof is pleased to announce that PSMJ Resources, Inc. selected our company as a 2017 Circle of Excellence member. This is our fourth consecutive year receiving this recognition. PSMJ Resources, Inc. is a leading management consulting firm for the architecture and engineering industries. Each year it conducts a financial performance benchmark survey of firms, recognizing the top […]

Learn More >