Grant Services - Advice and Tips

Let’s Play - Grants for Community Recreation and Outdoor Spaces

Thu, Mar 7, 2013 @ 13:03 PM / by Michelle Hansen


As the winter weather continues to take its toll on the nation, thoughts of green grass and outside recreational activities can help ease those winter blues. There are several opportunities for entities such as municipalities, counties, and non-profit organizations to apply for grants to help fund facilities, parks, and other recreational opportunities. In this blog post we will review some of these grant opportunities. There are thousands more. As always, we are here to help you get those grant dollars.  So if you have any questions about how to apply, feel free to contact us anytime. And remember, the initial consultation is ALWAYS FREE.


United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development Community Facility Grants

This grant program assists in the development of essential community facilities, primarily in rural communities with a population under 20,000. Funds from this program can be used to construct, enlarge, or improve community facilities for health care, public safety, and community and public services. Funds can also provide for the purchase of equipment required for a facility's operation. Public entities such as municipalities, counties, non-profit corporations, and tribal governments are eligible to apply.

National Park Service Land & Water Conservation Fund

States and local governments are eligible to apply for matching grants to fund public outdoor recreation and areas and facilities. O’Fallon, Illinois used a $750,000 LWCF grant to acquire land for a variety of playing fields for baseball, softball, soccer, football, and more.

Let’s Play Initiative

Dr. Pepper Snapple Group has made a three-year, $15 million commitment, as part of KaBOOM!’s Let’s Play Initiative, to help construct and improve playground areas. Municipalities and non-profit organizations with a playground or outdoor recreational space that is currently unsafe for children can apply for construction grants. Hurry, that deadline is April 2013. The Initiative also offers Let’s Play Completion Grants, which can be used toward the completion or improvement of an existing playground. This grant program has an ongoing deadline. In addition, there are also opportunities for communities to partner with school districts to apply for Joint Use Grants to open school recreation facilities to the public during non-school hours.

2013 Midwest Garden Grant

The National Gardening Association has sponsored this grant for four years, aiming to support community organizations with child-centered garden programs. Priority is given to programs that have these components: educational focus or curricular/program, integration to reinforce academics, life skills, instruction, (e.g. nutrition, growing one’s own food, learning to be responsible) developing environmental stewardship, and encouraging students to make positive choices for themselves and the planet. As the title implies, grants are available to states in the Midwest: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.  Applications are due April 26, 2013.

Tony Hawk Foundation Skatepark Grants

May 2013 will be the next opportunity for charities and state or local agencies to apply for Tony Hawk Foundation Skatepark Grants. The focus of this program is to facilitate and encourage the design, development, construction, and operation of new skatepark facilities, primarily located in low-income communities in the United States.


We want to help you improve your recreational facilities and programs designed to get people outside and moving! Join our Grant Helpers Watch List and we will let you know when more of these recreational funding programs are announced.


Photo Credit: JaxStrong

Topics: great resources, grant annoucement, community development, community development grant, recreation grant, grant opportunity, municipality grant, environment grant

Michelle Hansen

Written by Michelle Hansen

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