The National Recreation and Park Association has just opened the call for applications for our Great Urban Parks Campaign model project grants. We seek to fund replicable green stormwater infrastructure projects in parks located in underserved communities. The overall goal is to demonstrate the social and environmental impacts of green infrastructure approaches to stormwater management, such as access to recreation and opportunities to connect with nature. Grants will be awarded up to $575,000 and projects must be completed by fall 2017.
We are sharing this with you in advance of a larger announcement later in the week and would appreciate your passing the opportunity along to eligible organizations in your network. Attached is a grant overview. More information, including the online grant application link, are available at http://www.nrpa.org/greeninfrastructure. The due date for applications is April 29.
Great Urban Parks Campaign – Grant Details
The purpose of this grant opportunity is to demonstrate the effectiveness of green infrastructure to positively affect environmental change in underserved low‐income communities and communities of color, and thereby increase community engagement, connection to nature, and physical activity by community residents. The intention is to create replicable model projects that provide strategies and lessons learned for application by a wide range of communities.
This RFA will fund green infrastructure projects in parks that achieve each of the following key objectives:
- Increased public access to recreational opportunities and access to nature via parks in underserved low‐income communities and communities of color;
- Improved environmental quality and increased hazard mitigation by reducing flooding, improving the site’s ability to hold and retain stormwater, improving water quality, improving wildlife habitat, and increasing biodiversity; and
- A community engaged in improving environmental quality through green infrastructure solutions to stormwater management.
It is anticipated that this RFA will fund grants between $350,000 and $575,000. The maximum grant amount that will be awarded to a single applicant is $575,000. Matching funds are not required. However, it is expected that this grant will supplement substantial secured funding necessary to complete the proposed project. The grant check will be distributed in full upon execution of a grant agreement. Limited technical advisory will be provided by the National Recreation and Park Association, the American Planning Association, and the Low Impact Development Center, Inc. Grantees will be required to plan and conduct ongoing evaluation to assess and demonstrate social and environmental outcomes. Applications are due by midnight (EDT) Friday, April 29, 2016. Applicants will be notified whether or not they were selected for a grant by June 30, 2016.
- The principal applicant must be a park and recreation agency or affiliated 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. If the applicant is not a park and recreation agency, the applicant is required to submit a letter of support for the project being proposed from the park and recreation agency director.
- The project must take place at a park site in a low‐income underserved community.
- Significant progress towards the program outcomes must be demonstrated and reported by October 2017. All major construction must be completed by this date.
Successful applicants will:
- Demonstrate supportive high level community‐wide leadership, particularly from the mayor or similarly placed official(s), for the project. Letters of support from elected officials, partnering agencies and community organizations are encouraged.
- Exemplify collaboration between the park agency and planning agency, or equivalent, to implement the proposed green infrastructure project and support community planning goals.
- Explain how the project will advance social equity within the community.
- Demonstrate how this grant will enable them to maximize environmental outcomes while engaging the community in their green infrastructure project.
- Demonstrate how their approach to green infrastructure takes into account current models and data forecasts of changing climate conditions, particularly in the siting of their project in areas prone to extreme weather events such as flooding.
- Identify and describe the underserved low‐income community that they will reach, including demographic statistics compared to the surrounding communities and region.
- Show how they will improve environmental quality, create public access, and engage the community.
- Outline their plan to monitor and evaluate their work to achieve one or more of the three key objectives listed above and indicate the metrics they will use to track results.
- Identify their maintenance plan to sustain the project after the grant period ends.