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.
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 MoreTypical Grant AmountUp to $100,000Accessibility of FundsVery AccessibleMatch 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
Flood Mitigation Grant ProgramThis Program funds efforts to lower risk of repetitive flood damage. The program has two components:
Learn MoreTypical Grant AmountOver $1,000,000Accessibility of FundsVery DifficultMatch from other sources25%Park Funding UseCapital/Land AcquisitionEligibility for Accessing FundsState Governments, Local Governments
- Advance Assistance - Funding to develop mitigation strategies and obtain data to prioritize, select, and develop viable community flood mitigation projects. Design work facilitates viable projects for future grant applications.
- Community Flood Mitigation Projects – Funding for projects that integrate cost-effective natural floodplain restoration and improvements that benefit communities with high participation in the National Flood Insurance Program.
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
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.