Vibrant Recreation & Tourism
Directed Grant Program

The application period is over.

This program supports planning and implementation projects to enhance and develop sustainable recreation opportunities and increase access to public lands in California’s Sierra-Cascade region.

The goal is to improve access to nature and outdoor recreation opportunities, reduce the impact of overuse on natural or cultural resources, and support partnerships and efforts that promote sustainable recreation and tourism opportunities throughout the region. Vibrant recreation and tourism is fundamentally connected to the economic health of Sierra-Cascade communities and the ecological health of the region’s forests and watersheds.

Grant Guidelines (pdf)

two tents and a hammock nestled in between several trees, illuminated by sun in the distancesmall restroom facility is being lowered to the ground as two people support itgroup of kids stand inside a dome outside in the forest


Eligible applicants:

  • public agencies, including federal agencies
  • qualifying 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations
  • tribal entities recognized on the current United States Federal Register or the Native American Heritage Commission as a California Native American tribe

Eligible projects:

  • are located within, or provide services to, California’s Sierra-Cascade region
  • are consistent with the goals of this program, defined in the grant guidelines (pdf)
  • result in a clear, demonstrable, and enduring public benefit
  • meet California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requirements

Example Projects

  • The development of a recreation and tourism collaborative or partnership that identifies and prioritizes site-improvement projects across a large geographic region
  • Studies necessary for the implementation of a future on-the-ground recreation project
  • Implementation of priority projects identified through a collaborative process
  • Trail building and/or maintenance
  • Accessible trails or recreation access points
  • Site improvements that minimize impacts to natural resources, including food storage lockers, campsite improvements, toilets, re-routing trails around sensitive areas, and trailhead improvements that protect resources

Process and Schedule

Projects must be developed in collaboration with us. Contact your county’s Area Representative to discuss project ideas and to determine if your project is eligible for consideration.

The current grant cycle is being expedited, modified from the Grant Guidelines to the following:

  • March 20, 2023: Proposal due (only one required)
  • Site visits done as needed for implementation projects
  • June 2023: the earliest grants will be awarded

Grantees must submit six-month progress reports and a final report. Learn more about managing your grant.

Funding Source

This program is funded through state budget appropriations directed towards supporting nature-based solutions that address the state’s multi-faceted climate risks and related State Conservancy priorities. Grant awards are contingent upon funding availability.