Equitable Park Funding Hub
The Equitable Park Funding Hub provides easy access to information on a variety of funding sources relevant for parks and recreation in low-income communities and communities of color, and highlights the partnerships required for successful funding.
Parks, trails, and nature support public health, workforce development, local economies, the environment, and community cohesion. And yet historic disinvestment has left many communities with the greatest need with the least access to quality parks and recreation opportunities.
The Equitable Park Funding Hub highlights six sectors and summarizes grant and technical assistance opportunities under each, including eligibility, park funding use, match requirement, and other important information to help determine if the program is the right fit for a project. It is not intended to be a comprehensive source of funding opportunities but a starting point with examples and links to the various agencies that oversee the programs.
As many federal funding sources in the Hub are competitive, require match dollars, and often cannot cover maintenance or programming, stable local public funding is essential for a successful and equitable park system. Local funding enables communities to ensure investments promote equitable impacts and address local disparities.
The COVID-19 pandemic shined a spotlight on the need for safe, quality parks and on park inequities throughout communities. Now more than ever, high-quality parks and public spaces in disadvantaged communities require creative and wide-ranging partnerships to unlock public and private funding sources. We hope you will find this resource helpful in assisting with your local park funding needs.
The Equitable Park Funding Hub is the result of a two-year collaborative research effort between the City Parks Alliance, Groundwork U.S.A., and the Urban Institute. Support for this work was provided by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The Speedwell Foundation.
EXPLORE PARK FUNDING
Use this tool to filter, sort, and learn about funding opportunities and potential partnerships.
Safeguarding Tomorrow through Ongoing Risk Mitigation (STORM) ActResilience and mitigation spending saves taxpayers more than $6 for every $1 invested. But the majority of current disaster relief programs focus on post-disaster response, rather than pre-disaster mitigation, preparation, and resilience. The Safeguarding Tomorrow through Ongoing Risk Mitigation (STORM) Act creates a new “resilience revolving loan fund” program modeled after similar water programs (the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds) and will spur investment ahead of future disasters. Led by FEMA, this new revolving loan fund will be eligible for mitigation projects and activities to increase resilience and mitigate the impacts of events such as drought, extreme heat, severe storms, wildfires, floods and earthquakes. This provides an opportunity to prioritize low-impact development, wildland-urban interface management, conservation areas, reconnection of floodplain and open space projects. These low-interest funds will allow for cities and states to repay the loan with savings from mitigation projects. It also gives states and localities the flexibility to respond to oncoming disasters without paying high-interest rates so they can invest in their communities – cutting the red tape of having to wait on the federal government. Planning ahead to prevent serious disruptions when a disaster strikes will reduce risks to people, property, and save taxpayer dollars.Learn MoreEligibility for Accessing FundsStates, Federally recognized tribes that received a major disaster declaration pursuant to Section 401 of the Stafford Act, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the District of Columbia.
Clean Water Action Section 319 – Nonpoint Source ProgramSection 319 funding supports the implementation of state nonpoint source management programs. In each state, a significant portion of funding goes to local watershed projects that control stormwater runoff. Many projects feature green and nature-based approaches such as rain gardens, bioswales, permeable pavement, and streambank restoration. Each state runs its own project solicitation process. Find your state nonpoint source program here.Learn MoreMatch from other sources40% (can include in-kind contributions)Park Funding UseCapital/Land Acquisition
Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration ProgramCo-sponsors, the EPA and the Urban Waters Federal Partnership, work to develop community capacity with modest financial and technical assistance to diverse local partnerships for urban restoration and education programs. Streambank and shoreline stabilization, stormwater management, urban tree canopy restoration, and projects to prevent trash in waterways are just a few of the projects awarded grants. The grants are administered by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation's (NFWF) Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Grant Program.Learn MoreMatch from other sources50 to 75%Park Funding UseCapital/Land Acquisition, Operations/Maintenance
Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC)The Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) aims to categorically shift the federal focus away from reactive disaster spending and toward evidence-based investment in resilience through nature-based solutions to enhance the resilience of infrastructure. BRIC supports innovative approaches and enhanced partnerships, like those that share funding mechanisms or project design. An innovative project might have multiple funding sources or in-kind resources from private- and public-sector stakeholders or offer benefits to the community beyond risk reduction.Learn MorePark Funding UseCapital/Land AcquisitionEligibility for Accessing FundsState Governments, Local Governments can be sub-applicants to states