Department of Environmental Conservation

D E C banner

Adirondack Park Upper Hudson Recreation Hub Grants

A Partnership Between TNC, NHT, and DEC

This grant opportunity is closed.

Request for Applications (RFA)

The Natural Heritage Trust is soliciting applications for Adirondack Park Upper Hudson Recreation Hub Grants, funded by The Nature Conservancy. The grant program seeks to support local initiative community development projects from municipalities connected with former Finch-Pruyn Company lands acquired by The Nature Conservancy that are being added to the publicly owned Forest Preserve or are protected by conservation easement within the municipality (including but not limited to the towns of Newcomb, Minerva, North Hudson, Indian Lake and Long Lake).

The Essex Chain of Lakes

The phased purchase of these lands by DEC makes available new high quality recreational opportunities in the heart of New York's Adirondack Park. Communities are invited to submit proposals for implementing economic strategies and developing physical assets to serve visitors to the newly acquired state park lands.

Projects must be consistent with the program goals and objectives outlined in the RFA linked below. Projects that include physical assets must locate those assets on either private or municipal lands. Approximately $500,000 in funding, provided to NHT by a grant from The Nature Conservancy is anticipated to be made available to eligible applicants.

Program Description

The Adirondack Park Upper Hudson Recreation Hub Grants will be used to enhance connections between the former Finch/Nature Conservancy lands and residents and visitors to communities, including but not limited to Newcomb, Minerva, North Hudson, Indian Lake and Long Lake. These communities complement the Park's exceptional natural and historic resources, and give the area its special sense of place. Examples of projects that could potentially be supported by this program include:

  • providing local infrastructure to support recreation use such as mountain biking, horse trail riding, snowmobiling and hiking
  • seasonal shuttle service for hikers, bikers, canoeists, etc.
  • trailhead parking or waterway access on municipal lands
  • visitor orientation including traditional signage and new technology
  • connector trails to access public lands
  • hut to hut hiker accommodations
  • establishment of guide services

Application and Instructions

Please download and fill in the application electronically. Print and sign one original, put a final electronic version on compact disc and mail the application package to the address below.

Full application and instructions (PDF, 787 KB)
Application form only (Microsoft Word format)

An original and one electronic copy (on compact disc) of each application must be sent to:

US Postal Service:

The Natural Heritage Trust
Adirondack Park Upper Hudson Recreation Hub Grants
Albany, NY 12238

FedEx or UPS:

The Natural Heritage Trust
Adirondack Park Upper Hudson Recreation Hub Grants
625 Broadway
Albany, NY 12207

Applications must be postmarked by July 18, 2014.
Hand delivered applications must be received by 4:00 p.m. on July 18, 2014.

Please contact DEC (contact info in right hand column) if you have questions on the application process or eligibility requirements, or questions on the contents of this RFA.

Responses to Applicant Questions

Applicant's questions will be answered and posted here until June 20, 2014.

Q: The Full Environmental Assessment Form Part 1 is thirteen pages long. Is this really necessary to submit with an application?
A: If the applicant believes the project will not require or be a focus for an in-depth examination of its environmental impacts, the applicant may fill out the SEQR Short Form instead.

Q: Is there a Unit Management Plan in place for the former Finch lands?
A: The Department does not have unit management plans (UMP) or recreation management plans (RMP) for the former Finch lands; both those which have been acquired as Forest Preserve (and recently classified by the Adirondack Park Agency/APA) and those acquired as conservation easements. The Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan (APSLMP) outlines the guidelines for management of the recently classified Forest Preserve lands, which provide details on the range of recreation uses which can be allowed on these lands. The APSLMP and former Finch land classification are available on the APA website and are referenced under Offsite Links, in the right-hand column.

Q: How do you know if a project will be consistent with intended land uses without a UMP in place?
A: Applicants may make proposals that are consistent with the APSLMP and recently adopted land use classifications, and that will make the best recreational use of the land under classification. It is likely that applicants' proposals will affect development of future UMP(s) which are malleable and based upon public input.

Q: The Boreas Tract has not been purchased or classified yet. How can applicants apply for funding to support recreational access to this tract?
A: Applicants can apply and demonstrate connections to the Tract as well as other Finch lands. An application could provide specifics that are dependent upon future classifications. If projects are likely to be feasible, this will not make the application weaker and information gained could impact a future UMP.

Q: How should applicants demonstrate that a project will contribute to Sustainable Economic Development? Is DEC looking for specific numbers of jobs/beds?
A: Applicants may look to align their project with the Adirondack Park Economic Strategy, a parkwide planning initiative underway that is market-driven. Ultimately, the applicant must make the argument for economic impact. Providing specific numbers will make that argument stronger.

Q: Can funding support technical assistance to move larger projects forward?
A: Yes, funds may be awarded to a preliminary or transitional phase in a larger, more aspirational project, however project readiness and feasibility will affect the quality of scoring on many of the scoring criteria. Applicants will need to show how funds will make the project attainable in order to justify investment in long-term success

Q: Can this funding source be used as match?
A: Yes, the funding is from a private entity and can be offered as match for CFA and other State and Federal grants.

Q: How will the business community be involved in this grant program?
A: Grants will be awarded to municipalities. Municipalities are encouraged to involve the business community. Grant funds may be used to encourage business establishment, expansion or adaptation, but only if the business's participation is directly linked with recreational use of former Finch lands. Businesses are encouraged to contact the eligible municipalities with ideas, plans, project proposals, infrastructure needs, and information on services they provide.

Q: Should private entities submit completed applications to their Municipality?
A: No. Private businesses and not-for-profits with project ideas should meet with municipal leaders and bring pre-proposals to their municipality for discussion and consideration. The municipality may request further action to help develop an application.

Q: Are there conditions for the use of funding on private property?
A: Any proposal for use of funds on private property will need to demonstrate public benefit and willingness on the part of the private landowner to enter into an appropriate easement or public-use agreement.

Q: Are there conditions on the purchase of equipment using grant funds?
A: Yes. Equipment will be owned by the applicant. Equipment to be used by private entities should EITHER be provided as an additional deliverable from other funding sources, OR the municipality can buy the equipment and lease it for private use, OR the municipality can lease equipment on behalf of a private entity OR if the equipment is of minimal value, the municipality may choose to grant it to a private operator, to be returned if it is no longer supporting the project.

Q: Can applicants get detailed maps of the grant program area? Are there detailed land use maps for conservation easements?
A: Yes, these maps exist in DEC interim recreation management plans and interim access plans. Please contact the grant program administrator to request a specific map area.

Q: Do you have an idea of the minimum and average grant award?
A: No. There is no minimum amount.

Q: Will there be informational meetings on this grant program?
A: Yes, a community meeting was held May 19th at 2:30pm at the Adirondack Interpretive Center in Newcomb. A formal invitation was issued to eligible applicants and local chambers of commerce.