Grant Opportunities

Creating and implementing a community’s plans for new or improved recreation facilities can be a daunting task. Regardless of the size of a community, municipal staff or volunteer planning commissions are usually in need of some assistance to get projects off the ground. Obtaining grants is one important way to fund planning and implementation projects. Each grant, generally, has goals and minimum requirements and may take the form of technical assistance from a specialist or provide straight funding for a community to use on a specific project. They may be financed by private foundations or government entities. Some require matching funds while others do not. Below is a short list of some grants available to communities in Vermont. It is by no means an exhaustive list.

For a comprehensive list of grants, you can visit

For a list of Federal Funding Options, Click Here. 

Land and Water Conservation Fund

The Land and Water Conservation Fund Program (LWCF) became effective in January 1965 to create parks and open spaces, protect wilderness and forests, and provide outdoor recreation opportunities. LWCF grants provide up to 50% matching assistance to the state and local governments. Eligible activities include outdoor recreation facility development, and land acquisition to serve conservation or future outdoor recreation development. Funds are apportioned through the National Park Service (NPS). In Vermont, LWCF is administered by the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks & Recreation. The application deadline varies from year to year. For more information, go to and click on the "Recreation" tab.

Vermont Recreation Trails Grants

VRTF provides funds to develop and maintain recreational trails and trail-related facilities for both non-motorized and motorized recreational trail use. The grants program is financed by the portion of state and federal gas tax monies attributable to off-highway vehicle use (such as snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles, etc). Eligible projects include trail development, maintenance, and restoration, development of trail-side and trailhead facilities, creating accessible trails, acquisition of trail easements or fee acquisition of trail corridors, maps/publications, and purchase of trail-building hand tools. For more information, go to and click on the "Recreation" tab.

Vermont Agency of Transportation Enhancement Grants
The Enhancements Program is an exciting and innovative program for non-traditional transportation-related projects managed by the Vermont Agency of Transportation. This program can be a funding source for activities such as new sidewalks, bike paths, historic preservation, environmental mitigation, and more. It can aid in the creation of a multi-modal and environmentally sustainable transportation system that encourages non-motorized use and enhances Vermont’s historic landscapes and human scale of development. The Application must commit to a local match of at least 20% of the total project cost. At least one-half of the required local match (10% of the total project cost) must be in cash. (E.g., For a project with a $125,000 total cost, you may apply for up to $100,000 in Federal funds and commit to $25,000 in local match, $12,500 of which must be in cash.) For current details, go to

Vermont Community Foundation
The Vermont Community Foundation provides modest grants to projects that leverage other resources and make a significant difference to the state and address a clear community need. They offer various grant rounds throughout the year in a variety of program areas. For grant program details, go to

The Vermont Community Foundation publishes the Vermont Directory of Foundations. The Directory covers foundations incorporated in Vermont as well as those outside of Vermont making regular Vermont contributions, and is a publication specifically designed for VT grantseekers. It is available in two formats: a free online copy or a printed copy for a fee. Special note: Vermont public libraries are entitled to receive a complimentary copy of the printed directory.

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