Insight Grants

Sunflower Trails Grants

If you live in Kansas and have been looking for funding for a new or existing walking trail, you’ll want to be aware of the Sunflower Foundation’s Sunflower Trails Grants ( The Foundation’s aim is to “serve as a catalyst for improving health in Kansas.” To that end, the Foundation offers the Sunflower Trails Grants annually most years to provide Kansas communities with increased opportunities for physical activity. Applications are now open and are due September 10, 2009. Awards are anticipated by October 31, 2009.

Grants may be for up to $25,000, but within that amount there are limits on how the money can be spent: up to $15,000 for building materials, up to $5,000 for enhancements such as security items and signage, and up to $5,000 for tree-scaping. (Note that the $5,000 for tree-scaping can only be used for trees. General landscaping is not covered.)

Applicants are required to have a cash match of $1 for every $1 received from the foundation. Operating, overhead, and staff costs may not be funded with matching dollars. If you are in the process of seeking matching funds for a larger trail project to be funded by the state or federal government, the Foundation requests you contact them to discuss your situation prior to applying.

501(c)(3) organizations or state or local government organizations (such as schools) are eligible to apply provided they can meet the matching requirement and do not already have active Sunflower Trails Grants. Organizations that have not received Sunflower Trails Grants in the past will receive preference in the selection process.

Requirements for funded trails are as follows:
· Trails are generally expected to be at least ¼ mile in length.
· The width of the trail will depend on the scope of the project, though a minimum of 5’– 6’ is expected, with 8’– 10’ preferred.
· Public access to the walking trail is required.
· Trails must be more than sidewalks.

The application is fairly straightforward but does require a detailed plan for your trail, evidence of all matching funds, and quite a bit of supporting documentation such as organization financials, evidence of land ownership, and copies of bids for the work and materials. Hence, while the deadline seems like it’s far off, now is definitely the time to begin working on developing your project plan, securing matching funds, and gathering documentation. Good luck!

If you’ve had experience with this grant or funder in the past, or if you choose to apply this year, let us know about your experience.

Insight Grants