Funding Sources

This page list current and past funding sources that are known about and that may have been used by the Erie to Pittsburgh Trail Alliance and the various trail groups.

Training – Although all of these funds are administered by the Pennsylvania Parks and Recreation Society, they are intended to provide funding for different desired outcomes. The links provided contain more specific detail to the requirements.

Planning and Construction – These funds come from a variety of sources. The government programs are typically reimbursement grants that require differing levels of cash match and have more exacting criteria.

  • C2P2 (PA DCNR) Trail grants – The Community Conservation Partnership Program Is the umbrella program for many grants through PA’s Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Before undertaking a grant application, it is strongly recommended that you reach out to a member of DCNR’s Bureau of Recreation and Conservation’s regional staff who can help prepare a more competitive application. Planning and construction projects are eligible for funding under this program.
  • PennDOT Transportation Alternatives Program – TAP is not a grant program and no money is provided upfront. vApplicants pay pre-constructionvcosts on their own (design, environmental, right of way acquisition, utility).  No applicant match is required.  The TAP program funds the construction phase of eligible projects at 100%.  Project must conform to one of the 10 categories of eligibility.  TAP projects build pedestrian and bicycle facilities, improve access to public transportation, create safe routes to school, preserve historic transportation structures, provide environmental mitigation, create trails projects that serve a transportation purpose, while promoting safety and mobility.  //
  • Greenways, Trails and Recreation Program (PA DCED) grants – These grants through the Department of Community and Economic Development are designed to support recreational projects that have potential for economic impact, including funding for profit ventures related to trails. The funding comes from ACT 13 impact fees, and as such, the pot of money is dependent on shale gas extraction and fluctuates significantly based on oil markets.
  • Northwest Greenways Block Grant Program – The primary goal of the Northwest Regional Planning and Development Commission’s Greenways Block Grant Program is to facilitate the implementation of the natural systems greenway recommendations contained in the Northwest Pennsylvania Greenways Plan (NPGP) and the resulting individual eight county plans, as well as advance recreation, conservation and heritage initiatives throughout the region. This will be accomplished by supporting the completion of those smaller projects not eligible or unable to compete for alternative funding methods that will benefit from the speed and agility afforded by the Greenways Block Grant (GBG) Program.  This program leverages grant funds through the partnership of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) and the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).
  • Appalachian Regional Commission – The ARC is a federal program to support projects in certain designated counties. Trails projects of a scale that will provide an economic benefit to a local community are eligible to apply. For example, the Allegrippis Trail System at Raystown Lake is held up by the ARC as a model project, after receiving $170,000 in funding in 2007.
  • People for Bikes Community grants – The bicycle industry’s advocacy group, People for Bikes will provide cash grants for projects that have a heavy bike facility component. These grants can be used as the cash match for larger grants.
  • REI Community Outreach grants – These grants can only attained by working directly with the outreach staff at a local REI facility and when the project is seen as benefiting the communities near the facilities. Currently, this means southeastern PA, Bedford County and Southwestern PA. Contact the Community Outreach person at your local REI to find out more about this program.
  • Allegheny County Regional Asset District grants (ARAD) – Limited to projects in Allegheny County, this program helps a wide variety of projects and groups in the area.
  • The Erie to Pittsburgh Trail Alliance – At this time (2016) there are no funds available.
  • Trail Volunteer Fund – No worthy project with willing volunteers sould flounder for lack of tools or materials. Makes grants for tools and materials where there is a substantial volunteer effort involved. The goal is to encourage and build the volunteer core that will help to maintain the trail in the future.
  • FreeWheeling Easy – Provides web site hosting and system support for trail groups in exchange for a plug in the footer.