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 Equitable Funding Strategies for Parks and Green Infrastructure

The Equitable Park Funding Hub is a living resource intended to be a starting point for researching funding strategies with examples, case studies, and links for further information.

  • Explore each funding area in depth with links below, or use the sorting feature to help you identify the funding sources that may best match your needs.
  • We invite you to help us make this Hub stronger by sharing your experiences applying for, and implementing programs with these funding sources. Share your experience below.

Funding Areas

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Conservation funding can be used to create equitable access to park and recreation amenities, which is critical to improving the health and quality of life of residents in low-income communities.

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Brownfields contribute to blight and prevent reinvestment in economically distressed communities. Transforming them into parks can drive reinvestment and improve community health.

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Climate Resilience & Stormwater Management

Parks, trees and nature play an important role in cooling neighborhoods and building resilience to natural disasters. Communities of color often lack the greenspace needed to mitigate the impacts of climate change.

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Community Development

Increasingly, community reinvestment efforts are leveraging the benefits of parks to create vibrant, healthy, and livable neighborhoods with access to jobs and affordable housing.

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Local Funding

Stable, local public funding is essential for a successful and equitable park system. It is the primary source for critical maintenance, operations and programming.

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Federal transportation funding can create trail connections for parks and neighborhoods, which provide new outdoor recreation and commuting options, air-quality and congestion benefits, and local economic development opportunities.


Use this tool to filter, sort, and learn about funding opportunities and potential partnerships.

  • Carbon Reduction Program (CRP)

    The Bipartisan Infrastructure Act established the Carbon Reduction Program (CRP), which provides funds for projects designed to reduce transportation emissions, defined as carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from on-road highway sources. Eligible projects include the construction, planning, and design of on-and off-road trail facilities for pedestrians, bicyclists, and other nonmotorized forms of transportation. This recognizes the important role that trails and active transportation play in addressing and mitigating the climate impacts of the transportation sector, the largest carbon-emitting sector in the U.S. For more detailed information click here.  
    Park Funding Use
    Eligibility for Accessing Funds
    Learn More
  • Thriving Communities Program

    The Department of Transportation created this program to provide technical assistance and capacity building. The program supports communities with planning and project development of transformative infrastructure projects that increase affordable transportation options, enhance economic opportunity, reduce environmental burdens, improve access and quality of life, and provide other benefits to disadvantaged communities.
    Learn More
  • Transportation Infrastructure Financing and Innovation Act (TIFIA)

    The Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) program provides Federal credit assistance in the form of long-term and low-interest direct loans, loan guarantees, and standby lines of credit to finance surface transportation projects. 
    Learn More
  • Clean Water Action Section 319 – Nonpoint Source Program

    Section 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.
    Match from other sources
    40% (can include in-kind contributions)
    Park Funding Use
    Capital/Land Acquisition
    Learn More
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Additional Equitable Funding Research