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Challenge Grant Program

Grants to Knoxville, Tennessee Nonprofits, Schools, and Community Groups
to Improve and Expand Public Parks and Recreation Areas

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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City of Knoxville Parks and Recreation Department

Deadline Date:

05/30/19 4:30 PM


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Grants of up to $2,500 to Knoxville, Tennessee nonprofits, schools, community groups, homeowner associations, and other organizations to improve and expand the city's recreational facilities and public parks. Priority is given to projects that are on City-owned or City-leased property, but facilities must be available to all residents on a yearly basis. Previous funding has been used for playground equipment, water fountains, benches and landscaping.

The goal of the grant program is to enhance public parks and recreational facilities, so any project that would make a place look nicer, be safer, or add a new component to an already existing place would be eligible. The project submitted must be located in an existing city park, greenway, or other public recreational area; and be someplace that is generally open to the public and used for recreation.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 161853

Estimated Size of Grant:

Recipients of a challenge grant will be reimbursed 50 percent of the cost of a single project, up to $2,500.

Term of Contract:

Organizations that are awarded a Challenge Grant, will have until Friday, December 13, 2019 to complete their project.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

The City of Knoxville Parks and Recreation Department offers an annual Challenge Grant Program, which provides grants to non-profit projects associated with public parks or recreation facilities within the City limits. The grants are available to 501(c)(3), 501(c)(4), and 501(c)(6) status community groups, homeowner associations, schools, Scout troops and other organizations. Examples of groups who could possibly apply include garden clubs, athletic commissions, PTA’s, and designated nonprofit groups.

Types of projects that are NOT eligible for a Challenge Grant include those involved with any ongoing maintenance, such as irrigation systems, mowing, cleaning; or the purchase of individual or team athletic equipment. Grant funding may not be used to purchase a new facility.

Pre-Application Information:

Applications are due by 4:30 p.m. on May 30, 2019. Applications will be reviewed and groups submitting will be notified by the end of June 2019.

The Challenge Grants are “Reimbursement” matching grants, which means groups will be reimbursed up to one half (50%) of the eligible costs for their approved projects. Parks and Recreation will not reimburse more than 50% of the eligible cost of the project.

Any project that includes tree plantings on City property (including site selection and schedule for planting) must be approved the City’s Urban Forester. Applicants are encouraged to contact the Urban Forester prior to submitting their application if it includes proposed tree plantings.

There will be a mandatory inspection of the completed project by Parks and Recreation Department employees before grant awards are processed by the City for reimbursement.

Contact Information:

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

Applications can be emailed to

Or mailed to:
Parks and Recreation Department
P.O. Box 1631
Knoxville, TN 37901

Sheryl Ely , Parks and Recreation Director

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Tennessee: City of Knoxville