Frequently Asked Questions

We welcome your interest in learning about our program anytime throughout the year. Don't see your question below? Feel free to contact us at any time for further information.

Project Partner FAQs

Q. What is the Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program?
Q. How can the Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance program help my project?
Q. Who can partner with the Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance program?
Q. How do I apply for assistance?
Q. Does the Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance program give financial grants?
Q. Do National Park Service staff decide which rivers, trails, or other special places should be conserved or have improved recreation opportunities?
Q. Will the National Park Service own or manage the land?

Q. How does the Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance program work with national parks?

Q. What work is the National Park Service doing near me?


Project Partner FAQs

Q. What is the Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program (RTCA)?

A. The Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance program extends and expands the benefits of the National Park Service throughout the nation to connect all Americans to their parks, trails, rivers, and other special places. Our staff helps community groups, National Parks, nonprofits, state and local governments, tribes plan parks and trails, conserve and improve access to rivers and natural areas, and create recreation opportunities through locally led partnerships.


We provide a National Park Service employee to help organize, strategize, build public participation, and help implement a conservation and/or recreation project that is important to your community. We do this by listening to your project needs, helping you identify the next steps to make your project successful, and target financial resources to make your project a reality.

The Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance program measures its success by its ability to achieve on-the-ground results. Each year, we help local partners conserve more than 1,000 miles of river corridor, develop nearly 1,800 miles of trail, and protect more than 50,000 acres of park land, wildlife habitat, and open space.

Return to top.


Q. How can the Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance program help my project?

A. Our assistance is tailored to your needs. Examples of the types of assistance we provide are listed below. Visit our community projects page to learn about current projects.

Return to top.

Q. Who can partner with the Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance program?

A. Our network of conservation and recreation planning professionals can partner with community groups, nonprofit organizations, tribes, and government agencies to realize your conservation and outdoor recreation vision.

Return to top.

Q. How do I apply for assistance?

A. Check out our application page for guidance.

Return to top.

Q. Does the Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance program give financial grants?

A. No monetary grants are made.

Return to top.

Q. Do National Park Service staff decide what rivers, trails, or special places should be conserved or have improved recreation opportunities?

A. No. Local groups select the trails, rivers, and other places where they want to improve conservation or outdoor recreation opportunities. These local groups then invite National Park Service staff to join them to work on their projects. You lead your projects, and we provide guidance along the way.

Return to top.

Q. Will the National Park Service own or manage the land?

A. No. The Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance program does not own or manage any of the resources it helps local groups protect; that is the job of the local organization. Our staff can help your organization develop management goals and find partners and funding sources for management activities.

Return to top.

Q. What work is the National Park Service doing near me?

A. National Park Service staff work in communities across the country. Learn more about current projects the Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance program.

Return to top.

Last updated: March 26, 2018