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Clean Ohio Trails Fund (COTF)

Grants to Ohio Nonprofits, Agencies, and
Conservation Areas to Improve Recreational Trails

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) - Office of Real Estate and Land Management

Deadline Date:

03/15/21 Postmarked by date.


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Grants to Ohio nonprofit organizations, local governments, parks, and conservation areas to improve and develop large-scale recreational trails statewide. Funding may be used for engineering and design, trailhead facilities, trail development, and land acquisition for a trail. The emphasis of the COTF is on longer trails and building linkages between long distance trails.

The following types of projects are eligible for COTF funding: 

  • New recreational trail construction. Emphasis is on linear trails.
  • Acquisition of property and easements for recreational trails or recreational trail corridors
  • Trailhead facilities may be considered if a relatively small component of a trail construction project.
  • Planning, appraisals, title work, surveys, engineering design costs, environmental research, and archaeological surveys associated with a specific recreational trail project may be eligible. These costs are not eligible as a standalone project. 

Projects acquired, developed and constructed with COTF program assistance shall be open to entry and use by all persons regardless of race, color, religion, creed, gender, nationality, age, disability, or residence.

For al list of eligible costs, see page 8 of the Recreational Trails Program & Clean Ohio Trails Fund 2021 Application (link in Contact Information, below).

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 169259

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant:

Up to $500,000.

Term of Contract:

All projects must be completed within 15 months from the date that they are signed into contract.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

COTF funding is available to: Cities, villages, counties, townships, special districts such as park districts, joint recreation boards, or conservancy districts, jointly sponsored projects between political subdivisions, and non-profit organizations. Local governments and soil and water conservation districts are eligible.

The COTF does not fund loop trails.

Ineligible COTF Projects
A. Appropriation of land, rights, right-of-way, franchises, easements or other property through the exercise of the right of eminent domain.
B. Non-capital costs associated with a trail project (Ex. master planning, administration costs, trailheads, Etc.).
C. Maintenance costs for trails
D. Purchase or long-term lease of recreational trail construction and maintenance equipment
E. Projects with a useful life of less than 15 years.
F. Enhancements to existing trails
G. Examples of Projects Not Eligible for Funding: sidewalks, insurance, playground equipment, law enforcement, promotional items, concrete trails, campgrounds, legal fees, roads & road work, feasibility studies, picnic facilities, condemned land, lighting, traffic signals, and golf cart trails.

Pre-Application Information:

Application timeline:
- Applications must be submitted via post, and be postmarked by March 15, 2021.
- March 15th through August 1st (approximately): Site visits and review
- October or November: Recommendations and approval
- Agreement
- Project implementation
- Project completion - projects should be completed within 15 months

- Mail ONE copy of the application by certified mail or by some other trackable method to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (address in Contact Information, below).
- Faxed applications will NOT be accepted. Original signatures are required.
- The deadline is final, and no extensions will be given.

To request a blank application in WORD format please contact D’Juan Hammonds.

The amount of funds furnished from the COTF for project sponsors will be up to 75 percent of the total approved project costs. The remainder of the cost will be borne by the project sponsor (applicant).

The COTF will operate on a reimbursement basis; meaning a project sponsor must have sufficient cash, donations, or eligible in-kind services to pay for work to be completed, and then be paid back the grant percentage after the sponsor has documented payment for proper eligible work.

For FAQs, see page 3 of the Recreational Trails Program & Clean Ohio Trails Fund 2021 Application (link in Supporting Documents, below).

Contact Information:

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

Ohio Department of Natural Resources
Office of Real Estate
Attn: D'Juan S.M. Hammonds, MPA
2045 Morse Rd., Bldg. E-2
Columbus, OH 43229
(614) 265-6417

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Ohio

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