Land Acquisition Grant Program:

Notice: The Land Acquisition Grant Program opened April 16th, 2016 upon final approval of the Cumberland Trails Conference’s Board of Directors. 

The Cumberland Trails Conference (CTC) was established by its organizers as a Tennessee non-profit corporation in 2015.  Cooperation in that endeavor was received from the Tennessee Trails Association (TTA) and from the governing body of TTA’s then Cumberland Trail Conference committee (TTA/CTC) with both groups viewing formation of the non-profit corporation to be a natural progression from the work of the committee to a more effective means of achieving mutual objectives concerning the Cumberland Trail State Scenic Park (CTSSP).  In recognition of CTC’s status as the designated successor to TTA/CTC, it was entrusted by TTA and TTA/CTC with the management and disbursement of the approximately $500,000 of funding remaining from the “Pathways for People . . . People for Nature” Land Acquisition capital campaign that had been undertaken earlier by TTA/CTC.  The “Pathways” campaign was for the stated purpose of acquiring private funding “to be used to purchase the Cumberland Trail corridor and associated key recreational, historical, and natural areas, creating a linear park system across Tennessee from the Kentucky/Virginia border in the north, to the Georgia border in the south.”  Within the “Pathways” capital campaign, some fundraising efforts targeted land acquisition for specific portions of the Cumberland Trail corridor  which were subsequently funded and acquired by the State of Tennessee and also some funding for structures such as bridges was received; special considerations apply to the use of these funds by CTC.

In support of Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam’s announced goal of substantially completing the Cumberland Trail State Scenic Park (CTSSP) during his term of office, CTC has initiated a grant program for the purpose of expending during the 2016-2020 period the funding remaining from the “Pathways” capital campaign.

This land acquisition grant program is expected to award a maximum of $100,000 per calendar year, beginning in 2016, and continuing until the approximately $500,000 in the “Pathways for People . . . People for Nature” land acquisition capital campaign fund has been fully expended.  Categories of grant-eligible projects are listed below, ranked in our typical order of priority.  A number of grants can be made within a single category, however, each grant is limited to the per grant maximum amount indicated for that category and the total grants awarded each calendar year within all categories are limited to the overall maximum annual amount of $100,000 for the grant program.*


_____ CORE CUMBERLAND TRAIL (Maximum per grant award:  $100,000*


_____ BUFFER LANDS ADJOINING CUMBERLAND TRAIL CORRIDOR (Maximum per grant award:  $25,000*)

_____ APPROVED COMMUNITY CONNECTOR/RECREATION CORRIDOR  (Maximum per grant award:  $25,000*)

* In order to preserve maximum flexibility in addressing emerging opportunities, urgent needs, and changed circumstances, the Cumberland Trails Conference (CTC) reserves the right, in its discretion, at any time and from time to time, to make exceptions (to the grant guidelines set forth herein) for any particular grant application and to make any changes in the grant program that it may deem necessary or desirable, including, but not limited to, changing the stated maximum amount of any particular grant, the total value of annual grants, and the grant application timelines.

Projects involving partnerships and extensive leveraging of funds are desirable. 

Applications will be accepted throughout the calendar year, however, when the $100,000 allocated for the year has been fully committed through grant awards, unless CTC exercises its reserved discretion (see * text on the initial page), the grant program will close for the remainder of that year.

Please submit your application so that it is received by CTC on or before:

September 1st, 2016 for consideration in October

December 1st  2016 for consideration in January

March 1st 2017 for consideration in April

June 1st 2017 for consideration in July

September 1st 2017 for consideration in October


The full .pdf Land Acquisition Grant Program application is found below.

Find CTC Pathways for People Grant Application here.

Find Pathways Land Acquisition Grant donor letter here