Several programs are available that sponsor grants to finance construction and renovation projects of recreational facilities in municipalities around the country. Grants are used to acquire land or property as well as cover the project’s direct costs such as material and equipment purchases, labor and administrative fees. Some grants, however, do not cover all project costs and recipients are required to pay a percentage of the expenses.
Community Facilities Grant Program
The Community Facilities Grant program is funded by the Department of Agriculture (USDA). This program provides grants to communities with less than 20,000 residents to construct and renovate facilities used for public service, health care, recreation, community service and public safety. Funds are also used to purchase equipment that is needed to operate the facilities. Eligible applicants include nonprofit organizations, municipalities, towns, districts and tribal government agencies. Areas with the lowest population and income levels receive higher grant considerations. Up to 75 percent of the project costs are covered by the grant.
Housing and Community Facilities Programs National Office U.S. Department of Agriculture Room 5014 South Building 14th Street and Independence Avenue SW Washington, DC 20250 202-720-9619 rurdev.usda.gov
Outdoor Recreational Grant Program
The National Park Service sponsors the Outdoor Recreational Grant program. Grants are used to acquire land and plan and develop recreational areas such as playgrounds, tennis courts, outdoor swimming pools, hiking trails, picnic areas, campgrounds and boat-launching ramps. Funds are also used to build restrooms, water systems and other support facilities for the general public. States, cities, counties and park districts are eligible to apply for these grants.
Recreation Programs National Park Service Department of the Interior 1849 C Street NW Washington, DC 20240 202-354-6900 nps.gov
State Administered Community Development Block Grant Program
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) sponsors the State Administered Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program. Grants from this program are used to acquire real estate property for public use, demolish blighted structures and construct and renovate public service and recreational facilities and public and private buildings. Funds are also used to support economic development activities including assisting micro-enterprises. Grants are administered by states to cities and counties with less than 50,000 and 200,000 residents respectively. Up to 3 percent of the grant can be allocated to cover technical assistance and administrative expenses.
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development 451 7th Street SW Washington, DC 20410 202-708-1112 hud.gov
- playground image by tim elliott from Fotolia.com