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MTRPA Academic Scholarships & Awards

The Montana Trails, Recreation and Park Association annually awards the Dr. Steve McCool Award and Dr. Joel Meier Academic Scholarship to Montana college students at an accredited University or College with a declared major in Recreation, Park, Resource or related field.

The 2023 Award & Scholarships will be awarded at our annual conference in April. 

TWO Dr. Joel Meier Scholarships – $1000/each

This scholarship was established in Sept. 2000, in recognition of Dr. Meier’s commitment to students in the field of parks and recreation.  Dr. Joel Meier is a lifetime member of MTRPA and served at the University of Montana as Associate Dean of the College of Forestry and conservation, professor, and coordinator of the Recreation Management Program.  This scholarship is available to any Montana youth pursuing continuing education in recreation or parks.

1. Montana College student with a declared major in Recreation or Park Management.
2. Currently attending a Montana College or University.
3. Demonstrated interest in the Parks and Recreation Profession through attendance at the annual conference or participating MTRPA.

Basis of need:
– Achievements (academic or personal)
– Professional Association participation
– Extra-curricular activities
– Community volunteer service
– Financial need

Dr. Steve McCool Award

This award was established in September 2000 in recognition of D. McCool’s commitment to students in the field of parks and recreation. Dr. McCool is a lifetime MTRPA member, and a former professor of Wildland Recreation Management at the University of Montana College of Forestry and Conservation. This award is available to a Montana college student.

How to apply:

Submit a copy of your resume, a transcript of completed college courses, and a one-page essay explaining why you are the best candidate for this scholarship and/or award, the importance of membership in a professional organization such as MTRPA and how being in MTRPA fits into your career goals.  Please send these to Assistant Professor Jennifer Thomsen at