Parks add value to communities. Parks provide aesthetically pleasing open spaces, offer recreational opportunities for kids and adults, help preserve our national history and can even increase property values. There are many grant resources available to improve parks. Whether you seek to create a new community green space, revitalize an existing park or introduce special programs to a park, there are organizations that can help.
Federal Government Grants
The federal government offers a variety of grant opportunities for park restoration, maintenance and development. A great place to begin your grant research is at the National Park Service (NPS) website at nps.gov. The NPS funds many preservation and conservation projects within parks, as well as new park creation. NPS's Historic Preservation Grants program funds projects that develop and maintain areas of cultural and historic significance. The United States Forest Service (fs.fed.us) also offers grants to state parks and regional areas; many of the grants are listed on their website. Grants.gov, the federal government's main grant database, is another good resource for finding grants that focus on renovating facilities, improving park management and developing new recreation areas. Other federal grants for parks are listed at federalgrantswire.com.
State and Local Government Grants
State and local government agencies may also offer grants for park preservation and development. For example, the State of Oregon's website offers a variety of park grant opportunities through the Parks and Recreation Department. Search your state, county and city governments' websites for grant information.
There are numerous private, public and corporate foundations that fund parks. Some have a national scope, such as the Gates Foundation (gatesfoundation.org), while other foundations fund regionally specific projects, such as the Seattle Parks Foundation. Fundsnet Services Online (fundsnetservices.com) is a good place to begin researching foundation grants; the site operates a searchable database of foundation grant opportunities around the country. Corporate programs, such as Starbucks Neighborhood Parks Grants, can provide both financial and volunteer assistance.
- park bench in the hyde park image by Martin N from Fotolia.com