Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC) announced the recipients of its 2021 Trail Grants Program, awarding $145,000 to fill critical trail gaps, with an emphasis on regional and community development goals. Two Montana area groups received trail grants to help build on the vision for the cross-country Great American Rail-Trail.
Yellowstone Historic Center is receiving a $10,000 Doppelt Fund grant for the conversion of a 9-mile abandonment along the Yellowstone Shortline Trail into a multiuse path from the Montana–Idaho border.
Headwaters Trail System is receiving a $10,000 Doppelt Fund matching grant to support the development of the 0.8 mile remaining to complete a 12-mile network in Gallatin County to connect the Headwaters Trail.
The cross-country Great American Rail-Trail is a project developing 3,700-mile trail that connects across 12 states between Washington, D.C., and Washington State. This year’s Doppelt Family Trail Development Fund grants are made in honor of the legacy of the late rail-trail philanthropist, Jeffrey L. Doppelt, who passed away from COVID-19 in January 2021. A member of RTC for more than 25 years, Jeff invested over $800,000 in the nation’s rail-trails, benefiting more than 40 projects nationwide.
“The RTC Trail Grants Program offers support to projects that are often not funded otherwise and are left out of traditional funding streams. These grants often fill critical gaps—both in trail development and funding—delivering returns on investment that bring lasting benefit to communities,” said Ryan Chao, president of RTC. “As we mourn our good friend Jeff Doppelt, we see his legacy and vision live on with the progress we are making on the Great American and on completing trail projects large and small that have significant impact on the nation.”