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Salem Park Improvement Fund (SPIF) Grant

Grants to Salem, Oregon Neighborhood
Associations to Enhance Local Parks

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City of Salem

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Grants of up to $20,000 to Salem, Oregon neighborhood associations to improve local parks and recreational facilities. Letters of Intent are due October 31. This program provides matching funds in support of park planning and construction. Recipient associations will partner with the city in the planning and implementation of the project.

General Overview:

The NA identifies a project within one of their parks. The City works closely with the NA to ensure the project is feasible and within the standards of the Master Plan. Once a project has been selected and approved by the SPIF Project Review Committee, the City will award a portion of the funds needed to construct the project, and the NA raises the rest of the money. The City then oversees the construction and works with NA volunteers who wish to participate in the process.

The partnership is not just the sharing of the cost; it also involves City staff working together with the neighborhood association in the planning, construction, and eventual celebration of their park project.

Eligible project criteria will include the following items:

1. The project is identified as an approved amenity in the Comprehensive Park System Master Plan.
The Master Plan is designed to identify the needs of Neighborhood, Community, and Urban Parks. Park amenities are planned for different categories of parks based on a wide variety and number of users depending on the park classification. There may be a certain amenity that is appropriate for a Community Park, but not for a Neighborhood Park based on type of use, maintenance received, and location and/or size.

2. Project meets all local, state, and federal laws for parks and recreation facilities.
Any new amenity added to a public park must meet local, state, and federal rules to ensure all citizens safe access and use. A new improvement may require infrastructure such as an access point for a wheel chair, or walkways to provide a safe route leading to the proposed project. If needed, this will be included in your project cost estimate. Proposed projects should avoid impacts to natural resources such as wetlands, streams and riparian areas that require additional permitting.

3. The proposed amenity meets City of Salem, Parks Operations standards.
The City of Salem has a set standard of park furnishings and equipment in order to meet specific safety and maintenance requirements. Even an item as simple as a bench has to be made from a specific quality of material in order to withstand damage due to use, weather, and vandalism.

Applicants need to show support from their neighborhood residents, businesses, school(s), civic groups, etc. Submission of letters of support from neighborhood residents, organizations, and/or businesses is encouraged.

Applicant must show an identifiable need for the desired park improvement and the level of priority.

The proposal should show the extent to which the improvement will (1) reduce maintenance costs, or (2) require minimal, ongoing maintenance costs. Preference points will be given to those Neighborhood Associations who agree to assist with ongoing maintenance, and are willing to enter into an agreement to that effect for a period of time agreed to by both the Neighborhood Association and the City.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 146974

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant:

The Review Committee typically does not award an amount greater than $20,000.

There are rare cases where circumstances have created a priority need in a park, such as replacement of vandalized play equipment. In this instance, the Review Committee has the discretion to award more than the maximum level if the committee members agree that the project is a high priority.

Term of Contract:

Projects must be completed or construction started before June 30, 2019.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Applications must be submitted by one of the neighborhood associations recognized by the City of Salem.

Pre-Application Information:

The Salem Park Improvement Fund Review Committee has the discretion to award up to 75 percent of the total project cost. The NA is responsible for raising the balance of funding needed after grant award. This does not guarantee that the NA share will always be 25 percent. The match portion will vary depending on the strength of the individual application and the number of applications received.

The application portion of the program is a two-part process: Part One is the submission of a Letter of Intent (due October 31, 2017). Part Two is the submission of a formal application (due January 31, 2018).

If the Letter of Intent is approved, NAs will then be contacted for a pre-application meeting with staff to discuss the project in more detail before submitting a formal application.

After the pre-application review, city staff will develop a budget estimate for submission with the formal application. At that time, the Neighborhood Association will know the estimated cost of the project and can consider whether they are still interested in proceeding with their application. It is important to note that project cost estimates are just that – estimates. Actual project costs can vary due to the economic and bidding environment at that time. If the proposed improvement can utilize volunteer labor, that will be discussed at this time as well. This will allow the representative to take this information to their Neighborhood Association meeting for approval prior to application submission..

-July 24, 2017: Neighborhood Associations (NA) Notified
-October 31, 2017: Letters of Intent Due
-November 2017: SPIF Committee Review of Letters of Intent
-November 2017 – January 2018: Prepare Project Budgets with Neighborhood Associations
-January 31, 2018: Formal Applications Due
-February 2018: SPIF Committee Review of Applications and award of funds

Fundraising Deadlines:
1. April 30, 2018 Funds raised by this date will assure the project will begin in the construction season of 2018.
2. April 30, 2019 Final deadline for fundraising. Funds raised by this date will ensure the project being constructed during the 2019 construction season.

More information about neighborhood associations may be found here:

Contact Information:

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

Toni Whitler, SPIF Program Manager

Parks Planning
555 Liberty Street SE, Room 325
Salem Oregon 97302

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Oregon: City of Salem

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