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 COVID-19 pandemic has made the situation worse and has shined a spotlight on park inequities. Now more than ever, high-quality parks and public spaces in disadvantaged communities require creative and wide-ranging partnerships to unlock local, state, federal, and private funding sources.
As many state and 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.
This Hub highlights select federal, state, and local funding programs that can be particularly effective at funding parks and green infrastructure in low-income communities. It is not intended to be a comprehensive source of funding opportunities, but a starting point with examples and case studies.
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.
EXPLORE PARK FUNDING
Use this tool to filter, sort, and learn about funding opportunities and potential partnerships.
Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF)Using zero taxpayer dollars, the Land and Water Conservation Fund invests earnings from offshore oil and gas leasing to protect land and water for national parks, forests, and wildlife refuges, and to provide matching grants for state and local park and recreation projects. LWCF is administered nationally by the National Park Service within the U.S. Department of the Interior.Learn MoreEligibility for Accessing FundsFederal land management agencies
LWCF State and Local FundingThe LWCF State Side program provides matching grants to create and expand parks, develop recreation facilities, and further local recreation plans. All projects eligible to be funded through LWCF’s State Side program must reflect the policies and priorities of the state’s most current Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP). The first step is to contact the cooperating state office.Learn MoreTypical Grant Amount$325,000Match from other sources100%Park Funding UseCapital/Land AcquisitionEligibility for Accessing FundsPublic Agencies, including State, Local, and Tribal Governments, Districts
California Statewide Park Development and Community Revitalization Program (SPP)This competitive grant program creates new parks and recreation opportunities in critically underserved communities. SPP is the largest park related grant program in California’s history. The program is geared towards under-served, park-poor and economically disadvantaged areas. Projects must involve at least one recreation feature. Grants range from $200,000 to $8,500,000.Learn MoreTypical Grant Amount$4,000,000Match from other sourcesNonePark Funding UseCapital/Land AcquisitionEligibility for Accessing FundsLocal governments and districts, Nonprofit organizations
Massachusetts Community Preservation Act (CPA)The Community Preservation Act (CPA) helps Massachusetts towns preserve the character of their community through open space protection, historic preservation, affordable housing, and recreation funded by local tax levies. To date, 177 municipalities in the state have adopted the CPA, funding over 2,500 parks, playgrounds and other outdoor recreation projects.Learn MoreTypical Grant AmountVaries by jurisdictionMatch from other sourcesNonePark Funding UseCapital/Land AcquisitionEligibility for Accessing FundsLocal governments
Share Your Experience
This Hub highlights select federal, state, and local funding programs that can be particularly effective at funding parks and green infrastructure in low-income communities. It is not intended to be a comprehensive source of funding opportunities, but a starting point with examples, links to additional information, and case studies.
We invite you to help us make this Hub stronger by sharing your experiences applying for and implementing programs with these funding sources.