Posted Monday, April 16th, 2018

 LETTER OF INTENT DEADLINE — JUNE 29    Mandatory Orientation — April 26

Slightly more than $1 million in grants for recreational trails will be available to Morris County’s 39 municipalities through the 2018 Morris County Trail Construction Grant Program, which is beginning its third annual application process.

Morris County Kicks Off Third Year of Recreational Trail Grants ProgramLetters of intent from interested towns are due on June 29 and formal applications are due by July 31. Grant awards are expected to be announced before the end of the year. A mandatory orientation workshop to educate applicants on trail design and planning fundamentals is set for April 26.

Grants are awarded to qualified applicants from the county’s 39 towns to build new recreational trails, thereby enhancing recreational opportunities for county residents.

The Board of Freeholders in 2017 approved awards of $583,000 for projects in Hanover, Jefferson, Madison, Morris Township, Washington Township, and Wharton.

Morris County Freeholder Director Douglas Cabana

Freeholder Director Doug Cabana

“The trails that are created across Morris County with the help of these county grants makes our vast open spaces accessible to everyone, which improves the quality of life for all county residents,’’ said Freeholder Director Doug Cabana.

Funding comes from a portion of the county’s existing voter-approved Morris County Preservation Trust Fund, which will generate just over $8 million this year through a tax of 7/8ths of one cent per $100 of assessed property value.

The program operates on a reimbursement basis only. Municipal applicants are limited to one request per funding cycle. The program requires municipalities to provide planning and design of new trails and to contribute a 20 percent match for the trail construction projects.

Permissible Uses and Projects include:

  • Construction of new trails of various types (motorized and non-motorized)
  • Enhancement of existing trails (improvements to design and/or surface type to accommodate increased use or to make the trail ADA compliant)
photo of a wooded trail at Lewis Morris County Park

Trail at Lewis Morris County Park

Various aspects of project development are not eligible for funding as part of this grant program. They include, but are not limited to the following: land condemnation, land acquisition, trail feasibility studies, planning, design, sidewalks, improvements or construction to roads, lighting, running tracks (tracks used for races involving athletes at track meets), law enforcement personnel and activities, promotional materials (shirts, caps, pins, etc…)

Funding only will be considered if the land on which a trail is to be constructed is:

  • Located in Morris County
  • Owned by the municipality
  • Permanent preserved public parkland or private land with dedicated easements for public recreation use
  • On land with a permanent easement for public trail/recreational provided to the municipality
  • In full municipal control of all land and/or easements on which trail(s) are to be funded

The minimum grant amount is $5,000. The maximum grant award limit is defined as “no one award shall receive more than 60 percent of the funds available during each year’s funding cycle.” However, this exception can be waived if the pool of applicants is limited and/or a project is deemed to be a regionally significant project.

For more information on the mandatory April 26 orientation and for facts about the program, visit:  http://planning.morriscountynj.gov/divisions/prestrust/trail/