Who May Apply:

Only NPS staff acting on behalf of NPS-administered Parks, National Trails, and Wild and Scenic Rivers (including Partnership Wild and Scenic Rivers) are eligible to apply. Specifically, parks and programs that are funded through ONPS.

All applications are expected to include project partners such as educational institutions, private for-profit entities, or not-for-profit organizations. Municipalities or other governmental entities also are eligible to be partners, but a primary non-governmental co-applicant is encouraged.

If a project is funded, a project partner will need to be capable of receiving and managing funds consistent with the project’s purpose and budget. The NPS staff and their partners are expected to be substantively involved by providing ideas, encouragement, and support to achieve successful projects.

How To Apply:

  • NPS staff and interested project partners should discuss and develop their idea in keeping with NPS goals, partners' interests, and the goals and criteria of this Challenge Cost Share opportunity.

  • Review this worksheet to see the kinds of information that will be needed when you apply.

  • Use this online application portal to submit an application. (Note: The 2019 Challenge Cost Share program is administered by the Outdoor Foundation, and all applications will be processed through this application portal prior to review by the NPS)

Qualifying Criteria:

Every application must meet these Qualifying Criteria before further consideration:

  • Supports National Park Service Responsibilities – The project must benefit one or more national parks, National Trails, and/or Wild and Scenic Rivers.

  • Collaboration and Cost-Sharing – The project must be financially supported, equally, by NPS and partner(s). The partner(s) must commit to providing a total match equivalent to the level of CCS funding received. This match can consist of in-kind goods and services as well as cash from non-federal sources.

  • Maximum Financial Support – The maximum CCS funding provided per project is $25,000.

  • Timing – The proposed project should be substantially complete within nine months from the date that CCS funds are disbursed.
  • No NPS Salaries – CCS support may not be used for any ONPS staff salaries.

Project Goals:

Applications are being accepted for projects that will advance any of the following goals:

  1. Improvements in recreation opportunities, access and infrastructure;
  2. Protection and restoration of trails or rivers/riverside lands;
  3. Stewardship through public engagement; or
  4. Increasing public use and awareness.

Selection Criteria:

Applications will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

  • The project has clear and specific results.

  • The project focuses on advancing one or more of the Project Goals listed above.

  • The roles and contributions of project partner(s) and NPS are substantive and well-defined.

  • The anticipated benefits to the NPS, partner(s), and the public are clear.

  • The project’s outcome provides lasting benefits.

Last updated: March 28, 2019