Recreational Trails Program

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  PogoWelcome to Georgia Trails and Greenways! Our office coordinates Georgia’s Recreational Trails Program (referred to frequently as “RTP”), which provides funding for trail construction, trail maintenance and trail education. The Recreational Trails Program awards grants to city governments, county governments, federal agencies, authorized commissions, as well as state agencies.

Recreational Trails Program Overview

The RTP is a grant program. The United States Congress appropriates funding for the Program, and the Federal Highway Administration manages the Program, but it is administered at the state level. In Georgia, administration is handled by staff of the Department of Natural Resources. The purpose of the RTP is to provide and maintain recreational trails and trail-related facilities identified in, or that further a specific goal of, the Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP). Grants are generally awarded on an annual basis after the following process is complete: applicants submit their applications, Program staff rank the applications, the Trails and Greenways Advisory Committee reviews them, the Director of Administrative Services for DNR reviews them, and the Federal Highway Administration approves them.


IMPORTANT CHANGES TO RECREATIONAL TRAILS PROGRAM

The Georgia Recreational Trails Grant Program (RTP) administers the federal funds provided to our state through the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) for the construction and maintenance of recreational trails.  We have traditionally awarded these funds through an annual grant application process that begins each fall, with grant award winners announced in the following spring.  For your long term planning purposes, we are making this advanced notice of changes in the funding cycle for the Recreational Trails Program grants.
 
We are currently processing 45 applications for the 2016 funding cycle.  Successful applicants will be announced around April 2017, and recommended to the FHWA for funding. 
 
Our Georgia RTP will undergo an audit by the FHWA beginning next month which will result in some changes to our grant program processes.  More emphasis will be placed on awarding grants to project sponsors with trail projects ready for immediate construction, and also on getting projects completed and grants closed on a timelier basis. 
 
The Georgia RTP will go to a biennial (every other year) application and grant award process beginning in Fall 2017, with the grant awards to be made in 2019, and the next funding cycle announced in Fall 2019.  The maximum grants award amounts will also be increased above the current $100,000 level.  This biennial process will allow us to better meet federal requirements for the grant program, it will increase the funding amount available each grant cycle, and the selected projects will have cleared all environmental reviews, site ownership / easement issues, and funding match obstacles prior to awarding of the grants. 
 
 We will keep you informed and provide detailed information on future RTP program changes as soon as possible in order to facilitate your recreational trail planning.  Please call us at (404) 463-1030 if you have any questions. 
 

Advisory Committee

A committee of individuals interested in Georgia trails advises Program staff on policy issues and potential grant awards. The committee meets at least once a year. Meetings are open to the public, and reports of the minutes are available from Program staff. The current members of the committee are listed below.

Hikers

Nancy Lovingood, Georgia Appalachian Trail Club
Carolyn Hartfield, Hartfield's Hikers, OPALS - Older People with Active Lifestyles, Atlanta African American Adventures

Bicyclists

Keith Owen, Southern Off-Road Bicycle Association
Rick Moon, Southern Off-Road Bicycle Association

Off-Road Vehicle Users

Kenneth Sutz, Southern Four Wheel Drive Association
Bruce Dreher, Georgia Recreational Trail Riders Association

Equestrians

Randy Brown, Back Country Horsemen of North Georgia
Debbie Crowe, Chattahoochee Trail Horse Association

Water Trail Users

Dan MacIntyre, Georgia Canoe Association

Greenways Users

Greta DeMayo, Fulton County
Carlton E. Harris, Lumpkin County
O'Ree Crittenden, Muscogee County

Links

Pogo Info

Walt Kelly’s famous cartoon possum has served (with permission) as the ambassador for Georgia Trails and Greenways since 1993.


Contact Us

RTP Staff

Jodie Gardner, Program Manager
Telephone: (404) 463-1779
E-mail: Jodie.Gardner@dnr.ga.gov

Audrey Camp, Outreach Coordinator
Telephone: (404) 463-1030
E-mail: Audrey.Camp@dnr.ga.gov


Mail: Recreational Trails Program
2 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive SE, Suite 1370 East
Atlanta, GA 30334