Great Urban Parks Grant, Deadline Apr. 29

New grant! The purpose of this grant opportunity is to demonstrate the effectiveness of green infrastructure to positively affect environmental change in underserved low-income communities and communities of color, and thereby increase community engagement, connection to nature, and physical activity by community residents. The intention is to create replicable model projects that provide strategies and lessons learned for application by a wide range of communities.

This RFA will fund green infrastructure projects in parks that achieve each of the following key objectives:

  1. Increased public access to recreational opportunities and access to nature via public parks in underserved low-income communities and communities of color
  2. Improved environmental quality and increased hazard mitigation by reducing flooding, improving the site’s ability to hold and retain stormwater, improving water quality, improving wildlife habitat, and increasing biodiversity
  3. A community engaged in improving environmental quality through green infrastructure solutions to stormwater management

It is anticipated that this RFA will fund grants between $350,000 and $575,000. The maximum grant amount that will be awarded to a single applicant is $575,000. Matching funds are not required. However, it is expected that this grant will supplement substantial secured funding necessary to complete the proposed project. The grant check will be distributed in full upon execution of a grant agreement. Limited technical advisory will be provided by the National Recreation and Park Association, the American Planning Association, and the Low Impact Development Center, Inc. Grantees will be required to plan and conduct ongoing evaluation to assess and demonstrate social and environmental outcomes. Applications are due by midnight (EDT) Friday, April 29, 2016. Applicants will be notified whether or not they were selected for a grant by June 30, 2016.

* NRPA defines underserved communities as neighborhoods comprising a majority of individuals of color and/or living in poverty or near poverty.

Great Urban Parks Grant, Deadline Apr. 29

Playground Grants, Various Deadlines

Lake Ann Waterfront Park, by GFA
Lake Ann Waterfront Park, by GFA

2013 Let’s Play Community Construction Grant Program

This grant is open to applicants without a playground, or with existing equipment that is unsafe for children to use. If you already have equipment on site that you intend to keep, whether or not it is age appropriate, your application will be less competitive.

• U.S.-based municipalities
• Registered 501c3 organizations
• Public & Charter Schools
• Non-profit, child-serving organizations

Other Eligibility Requirements
• Applicant must own the land, possess a long-term lease on the land, or have permission to build from land owner
• Playground equipment purchase must fall between $24,000 and $40,000, not including freight, surfacing or side projects.
• Applicant cannot be a past KaBOOM! grant recipient
• Applicant must use the KaBOOM! community-build model throughout the planning and construction process
• Applicant must complete the playground project within 12 months of receiving the grant award
• Applicant must work with a KaBOOM! Preferred Equipment Vendor

Award Max:    $15,000.00


2013 DPS Let’s Play Maintenance Grant Program

1. Submit a completed application by a priority deadline.
2. Demonstrate that your community has led an improvement project in the last six months.
3. Rate or add your play space to the Map of Play.
4. Specific play space has not received a Maintenance Grant or an Engineered Wood Fiber Surfacing Grant in the past.
5. Sign off on the following liability language:

-Grantee agrees to use the $750 check for expenses related to the improvement and maintenance of the playspace.
-Grantee undertakes the project supported by the Grant funds on its own behalf and not on behalf of KaBOOM! or DPS, and the Grant shall in no way be construed as creating the relationship of principal and agent, of partnership or of joint venture as between KaBOOM! or DPS and the Grantee or any other person involved in the project. By accepting the Grant, the Grantee acknowledges that neither KaBOOM! nor DPS nor their respective subsidiaries and affiliates, and their officers, directors, employees or agents shall be liable for any acts, omissions, errors, injuries or damages, whether direct, indirect, incidental or consequential, associated with the use of the Grant funds or the Grant sponsored project.
-Grantee understands that they might be contacted by a representative from the Dr Pepper Snapple Group and, if requested, grantee agrees to collaborate with a representative from the Dr Pepper Snapple Group to plan and host a grant award presentation.
-Grantee acknowledges that all grantees will automatically be signed up to receive information by email from Let’s Play.

Deadline:    08-31-2013
Award Max:    $750.00

The American Academy of Dermatology’s Shade Structure Grant Program awards grants to public schools and non-profit organizations for installing permanent shade structures for outdoor locations that are not protected from the sun, such as playgrounds, pools or recreation spaces. Each Shade Structure Grant is valued up to $8,000, which includes the cost for a shade structure and installation. In addition to the grant, the Academy also provides a permanent sign near the shade structure. The AAD receives support for this program from its members and outside organizations.

Eligible applicants
The Academy Shade Structure Grant Program is open to 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations that provide services, programs and curricula to children and teenagers who are 18 and younger. To be considered for grants, applicants must:
•    Be recommended by an Academy member dermatologist. Locate an Academy member dermatologist by using the Find a Dermatologist tool.
•    Demonstrate an ongoing commitment to sun safety and skin cancer awareness by having a sun-safety/skin cancer awareness program in place for at least one year prior to application.
This awareness program can be re-purposed with materials available from other organizations (such as the American Cancer Society, EPA SunWise Program, CDC Sun Safety for America’s Youth Toolkit, or Cancer Control PLANET) or can be original content developed specifically for your audience.
•    Consider a shade structure that meets the stringent requirements of the Academy. See Apply for a Shade Structure Grant Program Toolkit below for specific criteria on shade structure selection.

Contact us for more information!

Playground Grants, Various Deadlines

GLRI Grants, Deadline Aug. 14


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today issued a Request for Applications soliciting applications from states, tribes, local governments, universities, nonprofit organizations, and other eligible organizations for Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grants and cooperative agreements to be awarded as part of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative,

EPA will award approximately $9.5 million under this request for applications for about 20 projects, contingent on the availability of appropriations, the quality of applications received and other applicable considerations. This RFA is EPA’s major competitive grant funding opportunity under the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative for fiscal year 2013. It is one of several funding opportunities available through federal agencies under GLRI. Applications are requested for projects within the following four categories:

  • Reducing exposure to toxic substances from fish consumption
  • Invasive species prevention and control
  • Lake Erie Cooperative Science and Monitoring Initiative
  • Facilitation of Lakewide Action and Management Plan (LAMP) stakeholder forums

A webinar explaining the grant application process will be held at 11:00 a.m., Eastern Time, on Tuesday, July 30.  Register for the webinar:

GLRI Grants, Deadline Aug. 14

Recreation Passport Grant Workshops

The Recreation Passport grant program was created using the funds generated from the State’s new park passport purchasing system, the same passes you can purchase when you renew  your driver’s license.

MDNR will be conducting several workshops in central/northern Michigan soon. Participants will learn about how to apply for grants from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund program, the Land and Water Conservation Fund program, and the Recreation Passport Grant program.

Tuesday, February 5 – Big Rapids 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Holiday Inn, 1005 Perry Street, Big Rapids

Thursday, February 7 – Grayling 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Days Inn Grayling,
2556 Business Loop South I-75, Grayling

April 1, 2013 Grant Application Deadline: All Recreation Passport Grant applications must be postmarked by the U.S. Postal Service no later than April 1, 2013.

October, 2013 Recommended projects are submitted to DNR Director for review and selection.

December, 2013 DNR Director announces projects selected for Recreation Passport funding.

The grant program may only be used for local development projects. The program is focused on renovating and improving existing parks, but the development of new parks is eligible. The minimum grant amount is $7,500 and the maximum grant amount is $45,000. This is a reimbursement program with a 25% local match.

Eligible projects will have the primary purpose of providing public recreation opportunities or facilities and infrastructure to support public recreation activity. In addition, projects must fulfill the following requirements in order to be eligible:

  1. Current annual capital improvement plan (CIP) – plan must include the proposed project. If your community does not have a CIP, you must have a current approved recreation plan on file with the DNR.
  2. The applicant must own, have a perpetual easement, or lease the project site.
  • For leased sites: 20-year minimum if no structure; 40 years if structure involved. Any exception must be approved by DNR.
  • Leased sites with a term of less than 20 years beyond the application date are not eligible to receive grant assistance unless the lessor is a government entity and agrees to assume all grant obligations in the event that the lessor takes control of the project site.
  • Sites with lease agreements that allow for early termination of the agreement without cause are not eligible.
  • Applicants with a project on leased land or facilities must provide the lease agreement in the application for DNR review.
  • Unimpeded access to the project site must be secured through ownership or an easement of term no less than the length of time that control of the project site is secured.
  • The grantee must, at a minimum, design and maintain the facilities subject to the application in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended. Facilities that are designed for universal accessibility are strongly encouraged.

Ineligible projects include:

  • Facilities and/or stadiums utilized primarily for the viewing of professional or semi-professional art, athletics, or intercollegiate or interscholastic sports. Facilities that are used for viewing of professional or semi-professional art, athletics, or intercollegiate or interscholastic sports, but whose primary purpose is the active recreational use by the general public for at least 75% of normal operation hours, are allowed.
  • Routine maintenance projects – these funds cannot be used to supplement the operational budget for maintenance of local parks and recreation departments.
  • Routine operational expenses.


The agency is also updating its guidelines for five-year rec plans. There is a webinar online here.

Recreation Passport Grant Workshops

Recreational Soccer Grants, Deadline Dec. 3

MSYSA has launched a Recreational Grant Program that is specifically geared towards MSYSA Recreational Affiliated Leagues. This program has been created for the purpose of enhancing recreational soccer clubs and recreational leagues within the State of Michigan.

Any league or club currently affiliated with the Michigan State Youth Soccer Association may apply for a grant. The following are ideas for grant topics, but are, by no means, the only ideas that may be successful; outreach to schools to increase membership, setting up a play day or tournament, long-range-planning process, player/coach handbook, financial software, startup newsletter costs, training equipment, coaching education, web page development, computer, software, etc.

Grant Applications Due December 3, 2012!

Recreational Soccer Grants, Deadline Dec. 3

ORV Trail Grants, Deadline May 1

The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced today that the 2012-13 off-road vehicle (ORV) trail grant applications are available to public agencies and non-profit incorporated clubs and organizations.

Applications are available (from the ORV Trail Improvement Fund) for grants to maintain existing designated state ORV trails, routes and use areas; repair public lands damaged by inappropriate ORV use; and develop new ORV trails, routes and use areas. Grant funds also are available to pay for liability insurance, leases or easements.

“We currently have 30 dedicated trail sponsors that maintain more than 3,600 miles of state-designated ORV trails and routes statewide,” said Steve Kubisiak, DNR recreation and trails program coordinator. “We depend on these partnerships to maintain the trails, and encourage participation from all user organizations and other public agencies to help us maintain Michigan’s great ORV trail system.”

Grant applications are prioritized to address existing trail maintenance and restoration needs on public land. New trail, route and scramble area development proposals will also be considered.

Applications must be submitted by May 1, 2012. The ORV Trail Improvement Fund is a restricted fund, made possible by using 100 percent of ORV user fees, to support the program for trail maintenance and development, resource damage restoration and law enforcement.

ORV Trail Grants, Deadline May 1

Community Forest Grant Program, Deadline May 15

The Community Forest Program (CFP) protects forests that are important for people and the places they call home. Community forests provide many benefits such as places to recreate and enjoy nature; they protect habitat, water quality and other environmental benefits, and they can provide economic benefits through timber resources. Community Forests have also long been sites for environmental and cultural education.

Request For Applications Issued
The Forest Service published a call for applications for the Community Forest and Open Space Program in the Federal Register on February 15, 2012. Applications are due to the State Forester or the appropriate Tribal official by May 15, 2012 and June 14, 2012 for State Forester or equivalent official of the Indian tribe submitting the applications to the Forest Service.

Total CFP funding anticipated for awards is $3.15 million, and individual grant applications may not exceed $400,000.

What is the Community Forest Program?

The Community Forest Program is a grant program that authorizes the Forest Service to provide financial assistance to local governments, Tribal governments, and qualified nonprofit entities to establish community forests that provide continuing and accessible community benefits.

The Community Forest Program was authorized by the 2008 Farm Bill (Section 8003 of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (Public Law 110-234)), which amends the Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act of 1978.

Program basics:

  • Full fee title acquisition is required. Conservation easements are not eligible.
  • Community Forests can be owned by local governments, Tribal Governments, and qualified nonprofit entities.
  • The program pays up to 50% of the project costs and requires a 50% non-federal match
  • Public access is required for CFP projects
  • The community is involved in the establishment of the community forest and long-term management decisions.

Applications for local government and nonprofit entities are required to go to the State Forester, while Tribal applications go to the equivalent Tribal Governments official.

Eligible Entities:

  • Local governments- Any municipal government, county government, or other local government with jurisdiction over local land use decisions.
  • Indian Tribes- Federally recognized Indian tribes and Alaska Native Corporations.
  • Qualified nonprofit organizations- Consistent with Section 170(h)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and operates in accordance with one or more of the conservation purposes.

Eligible Land:

  • Private forest lands that are threatened by conversion to nonforest uses, are not lands held in trust by the United States, and can provide defined community benefits and allow public access
  • Forest lands – Lands that are at least five acres in size, suitable to sustain natural vegetation, and at least 75 percent forested. Forests are determined both by the presence of trees and the absence of nonforest uses.

Applicants will notify the Forest Service when submitting an application to the State Forester or equivalent officials of the Indian tribe.
State Foresters and equivalent official of the Indian tribe will forward all applications to the Forest Service, and, as time and resources allow will:

  1. Provide a review of each application to help the Forest Service determine that the applicant is an eligible entity, that the land is eligible, and whether the project contributes to a landscape conservation initiative.
  2. Confirm that the proposed project has not been submitted for funding consideration under the Forest Legacy Program
  3. Describe what technical assistance they may render in support of implementing the proposed community forest project and an estimate of needed financial assistance.

Project Evaluation Criteria

  1. Type and extent of community benefits provided.
  2. Extent and nature of community engagement in the establishment and long-term management.
  3. Amount of cost share leveraged.
  4. Extent to which the community forest contributes to a landscape conservation initiative.
  5. Extent of due diligence completed on the project.
  6. Likelihood that, unprotected, the property would be converted to nonforest uses.
  7. Costs to the Federal government.

Project Requirements

  1. Complete an appraisal following the Federal appraisal standards (aka Yellowbook).
  2. Prior to closing, notify the landowner in writing of the appraised value and that the sale is voluntary.
  3. Ensure that title is not subject to encumbrances that would be contrary to program purposes.
  4. Purchase all surface and subsurface mineral rights, whenever possible or, determine that the likelihood of extraction is so remote as to be negligible.
  5. Record a Notice of Grant Requirement.
  6. Complete the final community forest plan within 120 days.
  7. Provide appropriate public access.
  8. Submit every 5 years a self-certifying statement that the property has not been sold or converted.
  9. Be subject to a spot check conducted to verify that Community Forest has not been sold or converted.
Community Forest Grant Program, Deadline May 15

Grants to Improve Shore-based Fishing, Deadline August 25

Access to the Great Lakes Fishery


The goal of the GLFT’s Access to the Great Lakes Fishery grant category is to improve or create opportunities for shore-based access to fishing for Great Lakes species for use by tribal and/or recreational users.

How This Goal is Achieved

The GLFT funds projects that create or enhance shore-based access to fishing, which includes construction or improvement of boardwalks and fishing piers with adjacent amenities such as parking and walkways.

Application Information

To submit an application, please download and follow the 2011 Access to the Great Lakes Fishery Application Guidance document, which will provide you with proposal requirements, submission and award dates, and instructions on submitting an application. Please use these instructions to complete the standard and required budget form for your proposal and to review budget definitions for access grants.

Applications are due by August 25, 2011, at 3:00 PM EST. Funding decisions will be made by the GLFT’s Board of Trustees on November 8, 2011. Applicants will be notified of funding decisions by November 23, 2011.

Do not use this application if your project involves the acquisition of property. For more information about land acquisition projects, click here.

Further Information

If you have questions about the project you are proposing, contact Jonathon Beard. If you have technical questions about submitting your application and/or the proposal process, contact Amy Rittenhouse. Both can be reached at (517) 371-7468 or

To review previous grants made in this category, please visit the Resource Library.

Grants to Improve Shore-based Fishing, Deadline August 25

Recreational Trail Grants, Deadline June 1

Program Objective(s):
To fund the maintenance and development of recreational trails and trail related facilities.

A section of the TART

Projects are evaluated based on the following criteria:
1. Project need and benefit
2. Site/project quality
3. Balance among project types
4. Balance among trail uses
5. Geographic distribution of projects
6. Balance among programs/divisions

State projects and state/local government partnership projects. A division within the Department of Natural Resources (Department) must always be the applicant.

Application Process:
Internal Department process. Local unit of government sponsored projects can be considered for funding if they contribute to Department program goals and they are located on
Departmental land or linked to a trail on Departmental land. Local unit of government applications will not be considered unless the project is developed as a joint application with a
division/bureau prior to the application deadline. The Departmental division must always be the applicant.

June 1, 2011

Funds are available on or after October 1

Dollar Amount(s) Available:
No limit on individual projects

Source(s) of Funds:
Federal Department of Transportation-Highway Administration (a portion of the federal gas tax). Administered by the Department.

Annual appropriation by the Michigan Legislature

Recreational Trail Grants, Deadline June 1

Trail Grants, Deadline May 16

As a result of these collaborative public/private, federal/state/local efforts, Michigan leads the nation in the number of trail miles on the ground. But more remains to be done, and MTGA is happy to announce the availability of small grants to assist organizations in pursuit of trail development. The MTGA Board of Directors has established a fund of $20,000 for 2011, in support of these grants. The goal of this program is to aid in the development of a connected trail network throughout the State of Michigan.

Eligible projects are those deemed likely to result in the acquisition, construction, improvement or linkage to any Michigan multi-use trailway. Eligible uses include (but are not limited to): planning and design efforts, brochures and other educational or interpretive material, public opinion surveys, legal assistance, ecological assessments, or actual trail acquisition and improvement. Applicants may have 501c3 nonprofit status, but it is not required. Grants awarded will range from $2,500 to $5,000.


  • The grant project must be able to be completed within 2 years.
  • Any grant amount not spent within 2 years shall be returned to the fund unless an extension is authorized by the MTGA Board of Directors.
  • Applicants must agree to submit a brief annual report including photos (if appropriate) for the length of the project.
  • Applicants must give proper credit to the Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance. This may include, but is not limited to: press releases, credit on signage or in publications.
  • Successful applicants are expected to provide to MTGA notices of project meetings and events; MTGA staff will attend or assist with these activities as needed or requested.

Final grant decisions, in the case of a scoring tie, may be based on several factors, including the relative urgency of the work being proposed, the need for funding, the ability of this grant to leverage other funding sources, and the geographic distribution of other awardees.

Deadline for Submission
Proposals for 2011 should be received or postmarked no later than May 16, 2011 and proposal submitters will be notified of grant decisions by letter no later than the 1st week of July, 2011. Funds will be disbursed at the mid-July Michigander Bike Tour. Contact us for more information!

Trail Grants, Deadline May 16