The Recreational Trails Program (RTP) is a federal assistance program of the Federal Highway Administration, administered in Texas by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. It provides funds to develop and maintain recreational trails and trail-related facilities for both non-motorized and motorized recreational trail uses. The purpose of this presentation is to explain the Recreational Trails Program and how it is administered in Texas. It also seeks to help potential grantees understand the elements of a competitive and successful grant application. Topics will include: eligible and ineligible items, source of funds, match percentage, the grant process and the involvement of other agencies.
About the Presenters:
Erick Hetzel is a State Park Trails Coordinator at the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. He manages the design and construction of federally-funded Recreational Trail Program (RTP) projects in State Parks. Erick grew up in southeast Massachusetts before moving to Florida to pursue a degree in political science from the University of Florida. Erick moved to Texas in 2007 to join the Texas Conservation Corps (TxCC) program at American YouthWorks, an Austin nonprofit. After a year and a half of national service as an Americorps member, he was hired to run TxCC’s Trails Across Texas trail crew, a program that provides an annual trail crew to Texas State Parks using RTP funds. He has over ten years of experience in trail design and construction. In his free time Erick can be found exploring Texas roads and trails on two wheels, or spending time with his lovely lady Kayte, and their two cats, Peanut and Gaucho.
Chris Sheffield is a Trails Coordinator at the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department State Parks Division. Chris manages the design and build of federally-funded Recreational Trail Program (RTP) projects throughout the State Park system, in addition to helping coordinate the agency’s Recreational Trails Grant Program. He has a Master’s Degree in Geography from Texas State University and a Natural Resource Management degree from “the” Ohio State University. Chris came to Texas in 1998 to work as a seasonal interpreter at Guadalupe Mountains National Park and worked over 15 years with the Austin nonprofit American YouthWorks, managing habitat restoration and trail projects while leading the Texas Conservation Corps program. He is a 2010 Audubon Together Green Fellow for his work introducing youth and young adults to the field of conservation and is a past member of the Texas Trails Advisory Board. In his spare time, Chris enjoys such antiquated pastimes as gardening, baseball, and exploring Hill Country rivers with his wife and two children.