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.
Massachusetts Coastal Resilience Grant ProgramThe Green Infrastructure for Coastal Resilience Grant Program offers financial and technical assistance for natural approaches to mitigate flooding and erosion. The 78 municipalities within Massachusetts’ coastal zone and certified 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations with coastal public property are eligible.Learn MoreTypical Grant Amount$20,000 - $1,000,000Accessibility of FundsVery AccessibleMatch from other sources25%Eligibility for Accessing FundsLocal governments located in the coastal zone
Texas Parks and Wildlife: The Local Park Grant ProgramTexas Parks and Wildlife recreation grant programs assist hundreds of communities meet their outdoor recreation needs. The Local Park Grant Program provides park grants for projects in various categories based on community population size and scope. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department administers this local park grants program for projects in various categories based on community population size and scope. All grant-assisted sites must be dedicated as parkland in perpetuity, be maintained, and open to the public.Learn MoreTypical Grant AmountUrban $1 million, non-urban $750,000Match from other sources50%Park Funding UseCapital/Land AcquisitionEligibility for Accessing FundsLocal governments and districts
Multipurpose GrantsMultipurpose Grants provide funding to carry out a range of eligible planning, community engagement, assessment and cleanup activities with a proposed target area, such as a neighborhood, a number of neighboring towns, a district, a corridor, a shared planning area or a census tract.Learn MoreTypical Grant Amount$500,000 - 1,000,000Accessibility of FundsAccessiblePark Funding UseCapital/Land Acquisition, Operations/MaintenanceEligibility for Accessing FundsNonprofit organizations, local governments and government entities, state governments, tribal governments
Green Acres Program State of New Jersey Department of Environmental ProtectionThe Green Acres Program, funded through a Corporate Business Tax, has worked with public and private partners to protect 700,000 acres of state open space and outdoor recreational facilities. Through its Local and Nonprofit Assistance Program, Green Acres provides matching grants and low interest loans to local governments and nonprofits. Most grants require a 50% or 75% match, but those in densely urbanized cities or towns only require a 25% match. Reflecting its “Parks Where the People Are” priority, Green Acres uses a ranking system weighted toward highly or densely populated communities. As part of a “Brownfields to Greenfields” initiative, Green Acres also encourages communities to remediate contaminated sites for safe public use and enjoyment.Learn MoreTypical Grant AmountVaries; recent award amounts have ranged from $250,000 to $1,500,000Match from other sourcesVaries from 25% to 75%Park Funding UseCapital/Land AcquisitionEligibility for Accessing FundsLocal governments, Nonprofit organizations
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.