The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) today announced applications are now being accepted for grants through the Snowmobile Trail Establishment Fund (STEF) grant program. The deadline to apply is Oct. 1, 2020. The STEF grant program is offered annually and provides financial assistance up to 100 percent of eligible development/rehabilitation and equipment costs incurred by a local agency for approved projects that benefit public snowmobiling opportunities. The primary purpose of the STEF grant program is to provide financial aid to eligible private, not-for-profit snowmobile clubs for the purpose of assisting such organizations to construct, maintain and rehabilitate snowmobile trails and facilities on public lands, designated roadways, or private land opened to such use in the state. The following types of projects are eligible for STEF funding: trail clearing, signs and fencing; lease of equipment necessary for facility construction; warming shelters/restrooms; and, other snowmobile trail needs (considered on a case-by-case basis).The STEF program is a state-financed program enacted by Sections 9-1 and 9-2 of the Snowmobile Registration and Safety Act [625 ILCS 40/9-1 and 9-2]. Funds for the program are derived from snowmobile registration fees and for that reason require the use and oversight of a public entity’s procurement guidelines to ensure the proper stewardship of the funds. The program is managed in Illinois by the IDNR and applications for this round of grants must be submitted to the IDNR by 5:00 p.m. Oct. 1, 2020. The Notice of Funding Opportunity can be found at: https://www.illinois.gov/sites/gata/Pages/default.aspx.Consult the IDNR website at https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/AEG/Pages/Grant-Administration.aspx for more information, or call the IDNR Grants main line at 217-782-7481.