Challenge Cost Share Projects

Members of the Discovery Expediton of St. Charles
Members of the Discovery Expedition of St. Charles in South Dakota. Between 2003 and 2006, The Discovery Expedition of St. Charles followed the route of the Lewis and Clark to reenact the historic journey. Funding for this project came, in part, from the Challenge Cost Share Program.

NPS photo


Through the Challenge Cost Share Program (CCSP), the NPS assists and supports the work of its partners. Since its start in 1995, the CCSP has funded more than 500 projects along the Trail. These projects range from construction of visitor centers, to funding of tribal events and natural resource protection activities. Projects funded under the CCSP include:

  • collection of oral histories and a subsequent series of public radio documentaries by Wisdom of the Elders, a nonprofit corporation committed to American Indian cultural preservation, education and race reconciliation;
  • a reenactment of the Expedition during the years of the Bicentennial, 2003 to 2006, that reached tens of thousands of adults and children. The Discovery Expedition of St. Charles, a nonprofit organization dedicated to rediscovering the legacy of Lewis and Clark carried out this multi-year project;
  • a series of interpretive panels about the American Indian tribes of Missouri during the early 19th century. These panels are in Van Meter State Park in Miami, Missouri;
  • the restoration of Spirit Mound to recreate the historic landscape with native tallgrass prairie and the opening of the site to the public by the Spirit Mound Trust. Spirit Mound is located in Vermillion, South Dakota.

How Projects are Selected
The period for submissions is generally from early November through mid-January. After the application period has ended team of park partners scores the projects. Scoring is determined by a series of weighted criteria. Criteria include preservation and lasting legacy, interpretive and educational value, public impact, American Indian involvement, enhancement of recreational opportunities, and uniqueness. Final determination for project funding is made by the Midwest Regional Director with recommendations from the Superintendent of the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail.

The source and amount of funding available through the CCSP to Lewis and Clark NHT partners has varied. In 1996, Congress earmarked one-third of funds appropriated to CCSP for use on National Scenic and Historic Trails. Since 2001, Congress has appropriated CCSP funds specifically for Lewis and Clark NHT. These funds supported projects for the bicentennial commemoration of the Expedition. This table (PDF) shows CCSP funding for Lewis and Clark NHT since 1995.

View a complete list of projects (PDF) funded through the CCSP

Phone (402)661-1804 or email for more information about the Challenge Cost Share Program.

Last updated: November 30, 2018

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