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  1. #1
    The Voice of Reason
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    Trail builing companies and grants

    i've got a 10 mile loop in the local state forest. the problem is no one rides it because it's nothing special and about 45 minutes from town. the topic of getting a trail building crew like trail dynamics to work the trail over. it would require getting a grant for sure. do trail building companies do the grant writing or is that up to the bike club or the state forest? i know it's a stupid question but do trail companies charge by the mile?
    I'm never gonna be a Rock Star

  2. #2
    FatBike Fiend
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    It depends on the type of grant. The Federal Highways Administration Recreation Trails Program grants are probably the major source of funding for trail projects in the US. Private businesses are not eligible to apply, only government agencies and 501(c)3 nonprofits. It's common, though, for agencies and non-profits to hire a private trails firm for consulting, design, layout, and/or construction if that is listed within the scope of the grant proposal. Since it's federal money, there a a few strings attached, like having to put the project out to competitive bid in order to hire a private firm. There are other grant funding organizations, like private foundations, that may fund grant requests from private businesses, though.

    Most trail firms will base their bid on the total project - the cost depends on trail specs, linear feet of trail, terrain, access and logistics, and anticipated difficulty of construction. Most firms will do a site visit before bidding, if possible.

    Hope this helps. Good luck on your project.

  3. #3
    The Voice of Reason
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    thanks for the response. there has been a lot of work in tallahassee the last several years and i've been impressed with what has been done. it seems the money was in the $100k arena but i don't know exact amounts. the trail that trail dynamics redid in munson hills in the national forest is very similar terrain to what we have and the kind of result i would like to have. do you think that government agencies have better luck getting a grant than a bike club?
    I'm never gonna be a Rock Star

  4. #4
    Squeaky Wheel
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    Quote Originally Posted by Megashnauzer View Post
    do you think that government agencies have better luck getting a grant than a bike club?
    Not at all. It really comes down to the quality of your grant proposal and how it scores against the grant criteria setup for your state.

    I've been on the Recreational Trails Program Committee for the State of Washington for the last three years, which means that I am part of a group that reads and scores ~100 grant applications each year. In our State, many of the highest scoring grant proposals are written by non-profits dedicated to trail access and maintenance, including the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance, the local Mountain Bike group. The highest scoring groups put a lot of effort into their grant proposals and make it easy for the Committee to give them high scores. I've read some terrible grant proposals from government agencies and have scored them as such. When I look at who gets funded in our state, it's a nice blend of government agencies and non-profits.

    So if you go down the RTP grant route, make sure you understand the criteria used by your state to award grant money. Make sure that you draw a very clear and crisp line between what you want to do and why it meets the criteria. Grant reviewers read A LOT of proposals and don't have time to fill in the blanks. You need to do the work to make it dirt simple for them. Go get copies of top scoring grants from previous years and look at how those grant applications were put together.

  5. #5
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    Mega- so you put in the 10 miles yourself? or were these trails pieced together? is there a local club or at least a handful of dedicated riders that ride and work the trails?

    I can understand you wanting to bring in "professionals" to give the trails more attraction, but I would think some work from some dedicated individuals could do the same. I have found the more folks feel a part of the trail system, the more proud and care they take in it.

    good luck either way...

  6. #6
    The Voice of Reason
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    i would say that i planned it and did a majority of the building. i've had a few people that put in a lot of time building and maintaining but it was mostly me. getting volunteers has been demoralizing in the past. i've thought about getting a truckload of dirt and a bobcat and going to town. i don't need the whole trail reworked, just enough to draw people to it.
    I'm never gonna be a Rock Star

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