Grant Applications

Active Trails 

Now entering its eighth successful year and thanks to existing philanthropic support, the Active Trails Program promotes healthy living and wellness using national parks as a venue for people to engage in recreation and exercise on more than 30,000 miles of land and water trails. Given that this year’s cycle starts in the winter, you have an opportunity to offer winter activities such as snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, winter wildlife walks, winter star-gazing, and more!  And, of course there are plenty of opportunities in spring, summer, or fall for exciting trail activities.

Working in collaboration with community partners such as hospitals, county and state health departments, bike shops or clubs, yoga studios, recreation centers, local university recreation departments, and others – there is no shortage of ways you will be able to motivate people to take advantage of the wonderful park resources.

  • Grant Application:  2016 Active Trails Program
  • Made possible by:  The Coca-Cola Company and The Coca-Cola Foundation
  • Grant Applications Due:  Friday, October 23, 2015
  • Program Cycle:  January 1 – December 31, 2016
  • Application:
  • RFP: Click here to view sample.

Every Kid In A Park 

In support of the White House youth initiative Every Kid in a Park, the National Park Foundation will award transportation grants to participating federal agencies.  As part of the Foundation’s Open OutDoors for Kids program, the Every Kid in a Park transportation grants seek to remove barriers to accessing our nation’s public lands and waters, with a special focus on underserved and urban communities. With cutbacks in school funding for field trips, this strategic funding will help provide comprehensive access to all federal sites, including national parks, forests, wildlife refuges and public lands and waters. Applications are due Friday, October 9th, and can be found here.  

Centennial Update

At this time there is no new call for projects. The approaching 2016 NPS Centennial has provided a catalyst for NPS leadership, NPF and Friends Groups to assess what the highest priority needs are for the coming years and to determine where philanthropic support can best assist. Centennial priority projects have been identified, and these will be the focus of all NPF fundraising efforts moving forward. As a result of this transition to a new method of delivering impact, NPF will be moving away from the traditional “RFP” model for funding projects and programs.

The process of creating a list of Centennial projects started with parks and programs identifying critical projects within the major focus areas of “Protect,” “Connect” and “Inspire.” Those projects were then filtered through Regional and Partnership Offices, Associate Directors, the Director’s Office, as well as, the NPF Board and Development team, and when involved, a Friend’s Group. An estimated 450 projects comprise the “Centennial Project” list, which is meant to be a dynamic list that remains “evergreen” and repopulated as projects are funded.

Some of the Centennial projects that are initially being presented to donors are park-specific such as restoring coastal dunes at Point Reyes, or restoring 120 acres of a battlefield at Manassas. Some projects are also being fundraised for by Friends Groups such as restoring trails at Jenny Lake, Grand Teton, or recovering two amphibian species at Yosemite. Others projects are national in scope such as Junior Ranger, Youth Conservation Corps, Digital Park Maps, or Trail to Every Classroom. As donor support is secured for projects such as Ticket to Ride or Wellness Ambassadors, there will be an opportunity for individual parks to intersect with those projects. Guidance on these opportunities will be distributed once donor support is secured.

The conduits for the Centennial projects are the regional offices, Centennial coordinators and WASO Centennial and Partnership offices.  You can find the list of those contacts here.

If a park (or park in collaboration with its Friends Group) has a project of significance they would like considered as a Centennial project, the park can forward it to the appropriate Centennial contact(s) for inclusion on the master “Protect-Connect-Inspire” project list.

Criteria for projects is outlined below:

  • Big Idea:  is it a big idea?  Does it create a margin of excellence?
  • Fundable:  does it have or could it attract major philanthropic support?
  • Would you undertake this project on your own initiative, outside of a national campaign?
  • Impact:  will the project, as defined, with the investment being sought, and the identified target audience, have the desired outcomes?
  • Urgent:  is it timely, current, and imperative now in order to establish a base for success with the next century of parks?
  • Scalable:  is the project or program scalable?  Will it stand the test of time and therefore be worthy of inclusion in a national campaign?