Challenge Cost Share Applications deadline is May 22, 2020.

Purpose and Scope:

  • The Challenge Cost Share Program is intended to support specific National Park Service mission-related projects that align with goals of local project partners.

  • Projects should promote improved access and opportunities for outdoor recreation, environmental stewardship, and education in our National Parks, National Trails and / or Wild and Scenic Rivers.

  • National Park Service staff will work with local project partners to achieve these mutually beneficial outcomes.

  • This partnership challenge seeks to reward proposals that have the best prospects to build enduring benefits and develop new partnerships.


  • Projects that directly benefit one or more NPS-administered Parks, National Trails, and Wild and Scenic Rivers (including Partnership Wild and Scenic Rivers).  

  • Applications are submitted only by National Park Service staff; project partners are expected to collaborate fully in the application process, but are not themselves eligible to apply.

  • Partners may be educational institutions, private for-profit entities, or non-profit organizations.

  • The project must have the endorsement of the NPS, as well as assurance from the local partner(s) that the project’s budget is viable.

Funding and Match:

  • If a project is selected, the partner organization will enter a formal agreement to receive and manage the project funds consistent with the project’s purpose and budget.

  • The partner organization is required to match the amount of Challenge Cost Share funding received with an equal share from the partner(s); any combination of cash, goods, and services can be counted toward the partner's cost share requirement, as long as all come from non-federal sources.

  • The maximum Challenge Cost Share project support is $25,000.


Two young boys joyfully snowshoeing in a snowy woods.

Project Examples

Learn about past projects.

A group of kids and a few adults excitedly runs toward the camera along a wide dirt trail.

Application Process

Instructions and criteria for applications.

Young kids paddle an extra large canoe on the calm waters of a river.

Submit Your Application

Application portal administered by the National Park Trust.

Last updated: November 30, 2020