The Evan Means Grants Program is intended to serve as a funding source for volunteer based non-profit groups, who may feel their request is too small for submission to more formal grant making organizations.

TTA created this grant program in 2011 to honor the memory of Evan Means, one of the co-founders of the Tennessee Trails Association in 1968. Significant changes to the program have been made in 2019 to make it easier to participate in the program.


Grant requests must be for projects related in some way to improving or enhancing trails and/or the hiking experience.

Recipient organizations should be registered with the state as a non-profit, but federal non-profit status is not required. TTA chapters are eligible.

Projects must be freely accessible to the general public.

There should be a significant use of volunteer labor in the project.

Grant requests will generally be for tools and materials, not for general labor. However, payment for specialized skills may be considered. Tools purchased for a project may be retained by the recipient, passed on to another non-profit, or returned to TTA. They may not be sold to other organizations, or sold or given to individuals.

Individuals preparing or submitting requests do not have to be members of the recipient organization, but should have the organization's approval.

Grant requests are generally expected to be less than $1,000, but requests for any amount will be considered.

Projects generally should be completed within 12 months. TTA should be advised of any delays encountered as a project progresses. Significant delays in starting a project may result in revocation of the grant, with resubmission in a later cycle. Significant delays in the completion of a project should be discussed with TTA as soon as possible.


Grant requests must include: a brief narrative description of the project and how it fits within the range of the organization’s total activities; a narrative description of how hikers will benefit from the project; an estimate of when the project is expected to begin; the expected completion date; a detailed budget for the spending of the amount being requested; the total cost of the project from all funding sources; the number of total man-hours required by a project; and the amount of volunteer hours expected to be used.

Click here for a copy of the Application Form in PDF format.


A Grants Committee, appointed by the TTA President and approved by the board, shall evaluate each grant request and make a recommendation to the board as to whether the request should be granted in full, or granted for a different amount, or rejected on its merits.

Both subjective and objective factors shall be considered in evaluating each request. Priorities will be given to projects with high volunteer labor content and to projects expectated to impact a high number of hikers.

The Grant cycle shall be quarterly. Requests must be submitted to the Awards committee no later than 30 days prior to a regularly scheduled board meeting. Requests not meeting this requirement will be considered in the next cycle, unless the submitter chooses to withdraw the request. Rejected requests may be modified and re-submitted in a later cycle.

Requests that can not be granted because of budget constraints will be automatically considered in the next cycle, unless the submitter chooses to withdraw the application.


TTA’s participation in the project must be acknowledged in some way, either by attaching tags or placards to a structure, or by inclusion in signage or in publications prepared by the recipient.

TTA is free to publicize its contribution to the project in either print or digital form.


The recipient organization agrees to participate in a press release or other publicity which acknowledges TTA’s participation in the project

Photographic documentation of the completion of a project should generally be provided before another grant request from the recipient organization will be considered.

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