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

Recreation Challenge Grant


GrantWatch ID#

Funding Source
City of Knoxville
Array ( )

Geographic Focus
USA: Tennessee: City of Knoxville

Important Dates
Deadline: 06/30/23 4:30 PM Save

Grant Description
Grants to Tennessee nonprofit organizations, schools, community groups, homeowner associations, and other organizations to enhance local recreational facilities and parks in eligible locations. Funding is intended to support projects that are open to the general public and located in an existing city park, greenway, or other area used for recreational purposes. Funding may also be used to promote activities in city parks and on greenways. Funded projects must be located within the City of Knoxville.

Each year the City of Knoxville’s Parks and Recreation Department partners with local groups and organizations to make improvements and additions to public parks and public recreation facilities in the City by awarding a number of matching Challenge Grants.

The intent 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 for a Challenge Grant. The project submitted must be located in an existing city park, greenway, or other public recreational area and be a place that is generally open to the public and used for recreation.

In order to receive a grant, the projects are preferred to be on City-owned or -leased property, but must be related to a facility that is available to all residents on a yearly basis.


  • Others (see text field entitled "Additional Eligibility Criteria" for clarification)

Additional Eligibility Criteria
While any local groups interested in improving a public park and/or other public recreational facility are encouraged to apply, city finance regulations require that only groups that have an official nonprofit designation such as a 501(c)3, 501(c)4 or 501(c)6 may be eligible to receive city funds. Examples of groups that could possibly apply include garden clubs, athletic commissions, scout troops, PTAs, homeowner associations, community clubs, and designated nonprofit groups.

The grant funding may not be used to purchase a new facility or for the purchase of individual or team equipment.

Types of projects that are not eligible for a Challenge Grant include those involved with any on-going maintenance, such as irrigation systems, mowing, cleaning, or the purchase of team athletic equipment.

Pre-Application Information
Must submit the application no later than Friday, June 30, 2023 at 4:30 p.m.

Applications will be reviewed and groups submitting will be notified in July 2023.

Reimbursement checks will be mailed to recipients in early 2023 upon approval by City Council.

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 by 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.

Estimated Size of Grant
Recipients of a challenge grant will be reimbursed 50 percent of the cost of a single project, up to $3,000.

Contact Information
Applications can be mailed or emailed to:

City of Knoxville
Parks and Recreation Department
P.O. Box 1631
Knoxville, TN 37901
Fax: #865-215-1743

For questions about the process please call (865) 215-1712.

Sheryl Ely, Parks and Recreation Director
(865) 215-4311

Lakeshore Park
5930 Lyons View Pike
Knoxville, TN 37919

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