Department of the Interior — National Park Service
The Department of Interior, through its Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program (Rivers & Trails) promotes sustainable community-based environmental conservation and brownfields redevelopment. The National Park Service (NPS) does not provide financial assistance, but does provide technical assistance for efforts such as conservation and community revitalization.
- Provides technical assistance for planning, assessment and conservation in urban areas — targeted to state and local governments and community-based organizations.
- Assists in acquisition of surplus federal lands — targeted to state and local governments.
- Offers technical assistance for community revitalization.
Federal Lands to Parks Program
Through the Federal Lands to Parks Program, NPS helps states and local governments acquire, at no cost, surplus federal lands (including surplus lands from decommissioned military bases). NPS assists communities in gaining title to lands and facilities for public parks and recreation purposes.
Eligibility Requirements: State or local government agencies may apply. Successful applications support: a need for parks or recreation; the capacity to maintain the property; and suitability for park and recreational use.
Limitations: Land or buildings obtained through this program must be open to the public and used exclusively for parks and recreational purposes.
Availability: Federal Lands to Parks staff review notices of available property for park and recreation opportunities, and notify relevant state, regional and/or local park agencies. Notices are often posted on military or General Services Administration Web sites. A state or local government agency interested in property for parks or recreational areas should notify the Federal Lands to Parks Program.
- Expand or provide park and recreational amenities
- Protect open spaces, extend hiking trails and open boating and fishing access
- Preserve historical and natural resources
- Convert abandoned military bases into recreational assets
Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program (RTCA)
The Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Program provides river, trail and greenway planning; resource assessment; and conservation workshops. Much of Rivers & Trails assistance is targeted to urban areas. As such, the program can complement brownfields redevelopment efforts. There are four RTCA project areas that support conservation efforts: urban area projects, trails and greenway projects, rails-trails projects, and river projects. A redevelopment project may use any or all of these project areas at the same time. RTCA has an agreement with EPA to support the development of Groundwork USA, a network of local community corporations organized for environmental improvement.
Eligibility Requirements: Projects are locally-requested and led and should include significant public involvement. Projects should also include the commitment, cooperation and cost-sharing of all partners.
Limitations: The RTCA involvement in these partnerships does not exceed two years.
- Assist in the development of conservation partnerships
- Provide resource assessment
- Assist in property acquisition
RTCA Web site: http://www.nps.gov/ncrc/programs/rtca/index.htm
Groundworks USA: http://groundworkusa.org/
Kansas City, Missouri
The Riverfront Heritage Trail is a pedestrian and bicycle trail system that links residential, office, commercial, retail, historical and cultural sites and destinations along the bi-state Kansas City Urban Riverfront. The area is experiencing growing demand from developers, businesses and community organizations for more environmental assessments on additional brownfields in the area. Kansas City continues to conduct assessments of future greenspace sites along the Riverfront Heritage Trail. The trail is located near and adjacent to several brownfields and provides recreational and transportation amenities, enhancing the redevelopment potential of these properties. The city formed a partnership with the National Park Service who provided funding for developing an erasable aerial map of the trail. Kansas City is also exploring the use of engineered wetlands to manage flooding from a nearby creek and stormwater impacts on brownfields developments.
Wendy Ormont, Leader
National Park ServiceFederal Lands to Parks Program
1849 C Street, N.W. M.S. 2225
Washington, DC 20240
Sam Stokes, Chief
National Park Service
Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program
1849 C Street, NW, Org. Code 2220
Washington, D.C. 20240
Main Website: http://www.nps.gov