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DEEP Requests Proposals for Recreational Trails Grants

Program to Allocate $10 Million; Applications due by March 11, 2024

(HARTFORD, CT) — The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) is now accepting proposals for the State’s Recreational Trails Program Grants. This request for applications is the largest funding round in the history of the Recreational Trails Grant program since it was established in 1997. It will make $10 million available to improve Connecticut’s trail infrastructure, which has seen significant usage increases since the onset of the pandemic. Applications will be accepted through March 11, 2024. 

Nonprofit organizations, municipalities, state agencies, and tribal governments may apply. This grant program aims to help support communities managing the trail usage increases that have endured as more residents and visitors become familiar with the more than 2,500 miles of multi-use trails and greenways that crisscross the state.

"The dramatic increase in demand since the onset of the pandemic has served as an important reminder that Connecticut has so many outdoor recreation opportunities spread throughout the state. That popularity has also focused our efforts on improving those resources to serve a wide variety of uses, and making them even more accessible,” said DEEP Commissioner Katie Dykes. “With nearly 46,000 people working in outdoor recreation in the state, these grants are important long-term investments in what makes Connecticut an enjoyable place to work and raise a family.”

DEEP revamped the application and scoring in 2022 to create more equitable competition for projects connecting Environmental Justice communities to the outdoors, and DEEP encourages organizations supporting these communities to apply. The updated application reviews whether proposed projects are in Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) distressed municipalities, evaluates “community connections” enhanced by proposals, and ensures community engagement in the project planning process.  

Connecticut awarded a total of approximately $9 million in trail grants to 50 projects earlier this year during the last call for proposals. Those grants were selected by the Connecticut Greenways Council from among more than 100 applications, and awarded amounts that ranged from $10,000 to $616,000. Examples of the various projects selected included:

  • The Town of Oxford: design and construction of an adaptive mountain bike trail system
  • The City of Hartford: Study, identify, and plan vital trail connectivity opportunities between interior Keney Park trails and the Hartford Riverwalk
  • Hop River Trail Alliance: design and install signage along the entire 20-mile length of the State-owned Hop River State Park Trail

Connecticut Recreational Trails Program funds may be requested for uses including:

  • Planning and design of trails
  • Construction of new trails (motorized and non-motorized)
  • Maintenance and restoration of existing recreational trails (motorized and non-motorized)
  • Access to trails by persons with disabilities
  • Purchase and lease of trail construction and maintenance equipment
  • Acquisition of land or easements for a trail, or for trail corridors
  • Operation of educational programs to promote safety and environmental protection as related to recreational trails 

Visit for details and applications. DEEP will hold a webinar on January 11, 2024, to provide an overview of the CT Recreational Trails Grant program and application; refer to our website for more details and register for the webinar here. For further information, contact Kimberly Bradley, DEEP Recreational Trails & Greenways Program, at, or (860) 424-3938.

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