Morris County's Growing Trail Construction Grant Program Earmarks Nearly $1.5M for 2023


8th Year of Trail Expansion Initiative Sees Continued Focus on Enhancing Outdoor Recreational Spaces.

The Morris County administration has announced that nearly $1.5 million in grant funding is up for grabs for the county's 39 municipalities as part of its 2023 Trail Construction Grant Program. The county's eighth consecutive annual application process for these grants is now open, continuing its mission to nurture the local trail network.

Since 2016, after receiving overwhelming voter approval for dedicating a segment of the Morris County Preservation Trust Fund towards recreational trail development, the county has awarded more than $4.5 million in grants. This funding has significantly contributed to the expansion and improvement of the county's robust network of trails.

Jefferson Township, Liffy Island Trail, Funded 2017.

Commissioner Stephen H. Shaw, the board liaison to the trail program, said, "One of the reasons Morris County is such a great place to live, work, and play is our commitment to preserving open space and maintaining and improving our park system. We have seen trail use increase, so we are glad to be able to work toward expanding the trail system each year."

While there are no significant rule changes for the 2023 grant program, applicants will notice formatting changes designed to create a more streamlined submission process. These include funding for design and permitting phases, funding for minor and major construction categories, and required pre-application meetings for all submissions. Grantees will have two years to complete their projects.

Florham Park, Briarwood-Stobeaus Trail, Funded 2016.

Betty Cass-Schmidt, Chairwoman of the Trail Construction Grant Advisory Committee, shared that in the program's initial seven years, 56% of Morris County municipalities have been awarded a trail grant. This represents a total of 45 grants amounting to $4.6 million that will build 26 miles of trail throughout the county.

A Virtual Application Workshop will be held on Tuesday, May 23, 2023, from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., providing an overview of the program and application process. Interested parties can register by contacting

Netcong, Arbolino Park Trail, Funded 2019.

Letters of Intent for the two-step submission process are due by Friday, June 30, 2023, followed by Full Applications due by Friday, July 28, 2023. Grant awards are expected to be announced before the end of the year.

For details on application format, submission requirements, permissible uses and projects, funding categories, and ineligible aspects of project development, visit the program's website. Please note that the program operates on a reimbursement basis and requires municipalities to contribute a 20 percent match toward the costs of their trail projects.

Town of Morristown, Footes Pond Trail, Funded 2016.

With this initiative, Morris County continues its commitment to enhancing the region's natural beauty and recreational offerings, offering residents and visitors alike a chance to truly experience the county's picturesque landscapes.

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