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Arapahoe County Open Spaces Grants

Grants to Colorado Agencies to Make Improvements
to Parks, Trails, and Open Spaces in Arapahoe County

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Arapahoe County

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

04/13/18 11:59 PM Receipt


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Grants to Colorado agencies and recreation districts for improvement, acquisition, and education projects that address the needs of open spaces, parks, and trails in communities throughout Arapahoe County. Applicants must attend a training session on January 31, 2018.

The project categories eligible for the 2018 grant round are:
- Site Improvement Projects: New construction, improvement, repair, or replacement of eligible outdoor recreation facilities or amenities (such as playgrounds, shelters, sports fields or courts, restrooms, landscaping, or interior trail segments/connections)
- Trail Projects: Trail/trailhead construction or improvement, including stream/road crossings and trailhead amenities (such as parking or shelters)
- Environmental/Cultural Education Projects: Environmental/cultural education or interpretation outreach materials (such as printed materials, video, or displays), installations (such as signage or conservation demonstration projects), or associated outdoor amenities (such as shelters or native landscaping)
- Planning Projects: Plans for a system (such as trail system or park system), a defined site (such as a park, historic site, or trailhead), or an agency (such as a departmental strategic plan or maintenance plan)
- Acquisition Projects: Eligible projects include fee simple acquisition of land for public open space, parks, or trails; acquisition of buffer land; acquisition of a conservation easement; and/or acquisition of water rights (acquisition proposals require a separate application. Contact Grants Program staff if you are considering applying for an acquisition project)
- Other Projects: Other allowable projects include stream/habitat restoration, natural revegetation, and water quality improvement (contact Grants Program staff to determine eligibility for this project type).

Each application should focus on one project and one location/site. Proposals for multi-site projects (for example, updating signage throughout a park system) should be discussed with County Grants Program staff prior to submitting an application to determine eligibility.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 138145

Number of Grants:

Six or more standard grants; five small grants; five planning grants

Estimated Size of Grant:

- Standard Grants: $100,100 to $500,000, 25% total project cost minimum cash match
- Small Grants: $100 to $100,000, 10% total project cost minimum cash match
- Planning Grants: $100 to $100,000, 10% total project cost minimum cash match

Term of Contract:

Work on the proposed project may not begin until after the grant Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) has been executed; therefore the timeline should begin no sooner than 45-60 days from the projected grant award date. Grantees are not allowed to spend grant funds until the IGA is fully executed. The IGA must be signed and returned to County Grants Program staff within 60 days of award notification.

The project start date is the date the IGA is fully executed by the County. Grantees are allowed two years from this date to complete the project.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Entities in Arapahoe County eligible to apply for grant funds are:
- Incorporated municipalities
- Recreation districts
- Special districts which provide recreational services or amenities

Ineligible costs include (but are not limited to):
- Outdoor performance venues and amphitheaters
- Concession stands and storage buildings
- Indoor facilities (such as community centers, recreation centers, and sports domes)
- Pools
- Purchase of non-fixed assets (such as lawn mowers, snow blowers, and weed eaters)
- Applicant and partner staff time (not including project management or other work completed by a consultant or contractor for specific components of the grant)
- Work completed prior to grant award and entrance into an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA)
- Administrative costs (photocopies, mileage, food, grand opening costs, grant writing, legal fees, etc.)
- Parking lots, roundabouts, sidewalks, and other amenities NOT directly associated with an eligible outdoor recreation project

Pre-proposal Conference:

Attendance at one of the following training sessions is required if you intend to apply for a grant in 2018:
- Thursday, January 25 from 1-3 PM
- Wednesday, January 31 from 9-11 AM

Both trainings will be held in the CSU Extension meeting room, 6934 S. Lima Street, Suite B, Centennial, CO 80112.

Pre-Application Information:

Applications must be received by Arapahoe County Open Spaces by 11:59 PM on Friday, April 13, 2018. You are encouraged to contact Grants Program staff to confirm eligibility for your proposed project before applying.

Applications are due on April 13, 2018 and awards will be announced no later than August 1, 2018.

Draft Application Review:
You are encouraged to submit a complete draft of your application for review by March 23, 2018. Applications will be reviewed by Grants Program staff in the order in which they are received. Draft applications submitted after this deadline will be reviewed as staff time allows. A review does not guarantee that the project will be funded.

All applicants must provide a minimum percentage of cash match. Note that cash match requirements are calculated based on the total project cost, not the grant request amount.
- Standard Grants: minimum of 25% total project cost cash match
- Small Grants and Planning Grants: minimum of 10% total project cost cash match

Applications are screened for eligibility and minimum qualifications by County Grants Program staff. If all eligibility criteria and minimum qualifications are met then the grant application will be evaluated in the competitive process. Evaluators include County staff and members of the Open Space and Trails Advisory Board (OSTAB).

The grant evaluation team will conduct site visits to proposed project sites approximately 5-8 weeks after the grant application deadline. Applicants will receive notification of their scheduled site visit date and time within 3 weeks of the application deadline. Each applicant will have 20 minutes to meet with evaluators at the project site and answer any evaluator questions. Lobbying and providing additional handouts/information not included in the grant proposal are not allowed during the site visit. The applicant will be notified if any follow-up information is requested by the evaluators.

Proposals are evaluated and ranked based on the merits of the project. The evaluation process considers the accuracy of the proposal in conveying the need, urgency, and scope of the project; the leveraging dollars/cash match provided for the project; the ability of the applicant to achieve the proposed results according to the budget, supporting documentation, and timeline; and the capacity of the entity to complete the project and maintain the project site.

Standard, Small, and Planning Grant requests will be ranked separately. Projects will be funded in order of rank in each category until allocated funds for the grant cycle have been expended. County staff and OSTAB will make final recommendations for funding to the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC). Funding announcements will be made following BOCC approval.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Draft applications should be emailed to

Apply online:

Sandy Bottoms, Grants Program Administrator

Arapahoe County Open Spaces
6934 S Lima Street
Centennial, CO 80112

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Colorado: Arapahoe County