Who May Apply:

Only NPS staff acting on behalf of an NPS-administered parks, National Historic and Scenic Trails, and 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:

  • The NPS staff will consult with partner(s) to develop project ideas that support NPS mission as well as partner interests.

  • 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.

Qualifying Criteria:

To be considered, each application must meet the following conditions:

  • The project will benefit one or more NPS-administered parks, National Historic and Scenic Trails, and Wild and Scenic Rivers.

  • The application includes a partner’s affirmation of support for the project, and a commitment by the partner(s) to match the amount of Challenge Cost Share funding provided with an equal share from the partner(s); any combination of cash, goods, and services can be counted toward the cost share requirement, as long as all come from non-federal sources.

  • The proposed work realistically reflects the maximum NPS Challenge Cost Share funding level of $25,000 per project.

  • The proposed project will be substantially complete within the fiscal year that is, before October 1 of the year in which funds are provided.

Selection Criteria:

Applications will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

  • How clear and specific are the project’s expected results?

  • How substantive, and how well-defined, are the roles and contributions of the NPS staff and project partner(s)?

  • Are there clear anticipated benefits for NPS, its partner(s), and the public?

  • How effectively will the project advance one or more of the targeted thematic categories?

  • How sustainable are the project’s benefits likely to be in future years?

  • How effectively will the project build new partnerships?

For questions not addressed in these pages, or other assistance in applying, please contact us.

Last updated: January 31, 2017