We get a tremendous number of requests from municipalities for help finding grants that fund playground upgrades. Such grants are highly sought-after and thus extremely competitive. If you seek to create or refurbish playground equipment in your community, we can help you put your best foot forward. Below are a few grant opportunities to get you started.Lowe’s
There are two grant opportunities for funding from Lowe’s, depending on your need.
Lowe’s Toolbox for Education: Now in its 12th year of helping build better schools and communities, the Lowe's Toolbox for Education program has provided over $54 million to more than 12,000 schools across the country. There are four focus areas this year, including facility renovations. Any public/charter K-12 school or non-profit parent group associated with such a school is eligible to apply. Grant awards of between $2,000 and $5,000 per school are available. A Toolbox grant can be used as part of a large-scale project, like a playground, as long as the grant will be used to complete a phase of the project that can be finished within the year of the award. The next cycle for the Toolbox for Education program opens on Aug. 6, with a deadline of Sept. 28.
Community Partners Grants: For those schools needing larger grant awards, Lowe’s also provides Community Partners Grants. Non-profit parent-teacher organizations would need to apply on behalf of schools for this program. Grounds improvements and building renovations/upgrades are fundable projects. These grants range from $2,000-$100,000. The spring grant cycle is currently open until May 11. The fall cycle will be from July 2-Aug. 24.
Playgrounds can be funded by grants that promote healthy living or aim to reduce childhood obesity. The American Heart Association and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation have partnered to create the Voices for Healthy Kids grant program. This program promotes physical activity and physical education by funding more frequent, effective physical education in schools--including funding for recess and playgrounds. Awards of up to $125,000 are available. Applications will open on June 4, with a deadline of July 13.
Is your playground lacking shade? The American Academy of Dermatology offers grants of up to $8,000 to public schools for installing permanent shade structures for outdoor locations that are not protected from the sun. Since its inception in 2000, the Shade Structure Grant Program has funded 324 shade structures. A member of the AAD must recommend your school for receipt of the grant. The website has an easy search tool to find an AAD member in your area to contact. The 2018 application period has passed. Next year’s program should open in September 2018.
Photo Credit: Steve Langguth