The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) administers five (5) grant programs that can provide funding assistance to acquire, develop and, in some cases, maintain trails for a variety of public recreation uses. These programs can also restore areas damaged by unauthorized trail use activity.
The programs are:
These programs provide grant assistance on a wide variety of trail related projects in the state. Each program operates on an annual recurring grant cycle with funds awarded on the basis of a review and prioritization of written applications submitted to the IDNR. Projects are evaluated according to established trail objectives and priorities. The director of the IDNR, in consultation with staff and the Illinois Natural Resources Advisory Board, the Illinois Greenways & Trails Council and the Illinois Off-Highway Vehicle Trails Advisory Board, as appropriate, has sole authority and responsibility for approving grants through these programs.
Funds awarded and disbursed under these programs are on a reimbursement basis. This means that once a project proposal is submitted to the IDNR and approved for grant funding, the project sponsor is responsible for successfully completing the project and initially financing the entire project cost. Actual disbursement of grant funds to the project sponsor is made after the approved project is satisfactorily completed and a final project billing statement, verifying project costs, is submitted to the IDNR for reimbursement. Forty-five (45) days should be allowed after submittal of an acceptable billing request to the IDNR for receipt of actual grant reimbursement payment.
The Illinois Trails Grant Programs manual provides information on program regulations and procedures for making application to the IDNR for funding consideration under any of these programs. Application forms and instructions for making application to the IDNR are also in this manual.