Local Park Grants
Grants to Texas Local Government Agencies to
Acquire and Develop Parks and Recreational Areas
Acquire and Develop Parks and Recreational Areas
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD)
Grants to Texas local political subdivisions to acquire and develop public recreational sites and facilities. This program supports sites that will be dedicated parkland in perpetuity. Sites must be properly maintained and remain open to the public. Applications will be considered under the following five individuals programs:
-Local Parks Urban Outdoor Recreation
-Local Parks Non-Urban Outdoor Recreation
-Local Parks Small Community Recreation
-Local Parks Urban Indoor Recreation
-Local Parks Non-Urban Indoor Recreation
Points may be received through the applicable “Project Priority Scoring System” for projects which meet priorities identified in Department-accepted, locally-endorsed parks, recreation, and open space master plans. A jurisdiction wide master plan is NOT required to participate in the grant program, nor does Texas Parks & Wildlife Department’s acceptance of a plan guarantee that points will be awarded for any project. There are no points in the Small Community scoring criteria for having a master plan. Master Plans must be submitted to TPWD at least 60 days prior to the grant deadline in which you wish to participate in order to be considered for points.
Required Long-Term Commitments:
All property acquired and/or developed with fund assistance must remain dedicated in perpetuity and be used only for public recreation, with the exception of leased lands which may revert to other uses upon lease expiration.
-No overhead utility lines may be installed;
-The project area(s) must be open to the public and utilized for public recreation, free from discrimination pursuant to Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964;
-The project area(s) must be maintained so that it is safe, attractive, and inviting to the public;
-A permanent program acknowledgement sign or plaque must be installed and maintained at all project sites;
-Periodic post completion inspections by Department staff will generally be unannounced, and are intended to ensure that program compliance continues after the project is completed. The applicant may be asked periodically to participate in post completion self-inspection. Applicants who fail to comply with long-term program commitments may jeopardize future eligibility for funds for new projects and/or be subject to legal actions by the state and/or federal government to enforce program compliance.
-Local Parks Urban Outdoor Recreation: $1 Million
-Local Parks Non-Urban Outdoor Recreation: $500,000
-Local Parks Small Community Recreation: $75,000
-Local Parks Urban Indoor Recreation: $1 Million
-Local Parks Non-Urban Indoor Recreation: $750,000
Eligible applicants include political subdivisions of the State of Texas legally responsible for providing public recreation services to their citizens. This includes cities, counties, river authorities, municipal utility districts, and other special districts.
The following criteria will be used to determine applicant eligibility for additional funding:
-All previously completed Recreation Grant Projects must be in compliance with all the terms of the Project Agreement under which they received assistance and all program guidelines; and
-For active grants, all required project documentation (such as appraisals, construction plans, quarterly status reports, and reimbursement requests) must be complete and have been received on schedule, if due.
For the Non-Urban Outdoor Recreation, Small Community and Non-Urban Indoor Recreation Grant Programs:
-All active projects which are at least two years old at the time of application must be reimbursed for a minimum of 50% of the approved grant amount; and
-The total of approved grant funds which have not been reimbursed at the time of application may not exceed $2 million for all active grant projects.
For the Urban Outdoor Recreation and Urban Indoor Recreation Grant Programs:
-All active projects which are at least two years old at the time of application must be reimbursed for a minimum of 25% of the approved grant amount; and
-The total of approved grant funds which have not been reimbursed at the time of application may not exceed $4 million for all active grant projects. An applicant may also be considered to be “high risk” based on financial stability or non-conforming management standards, requiring additional special conditions and restrictions as determined by grant management standards.
Although school districts are not eligible for grant assistance, facilities on public school grounds for joint school-general public use are allowed provided that the following conditions are met:
-The property meets all requirements of the grant program, including requirements for development on leased property.
-The proposed facilities are not required as part of the normal curriculum of the educational institution and must be primarily intended for general public use.
-The lease agreement must include a schedule of times the fund-assisted facilities are available to the public along with a metes and bounds description of the project area, which includes the areas to be developed, and ingress/egress route to the assisted facilities.
The Program provides 50% matching grants on a reimbursement basis to eligible applicants. The match MUST be available at the time of application. The applicant’s matching share may come from a number of sources including, but not limited to the following:
-Voter approved bonds
-Applicant cash and EDC funds
-Applicant in house labor, equipment, and materials
-Applicant publicly-owned non-parkland
-Fees or cash in-lieu of mandatory dedicated parkland
-Donated land, cash, labor, equipment, and materials.
-Other grants awarded
All grant applications must receive at least one public hearing prior to submission in compliance with the Texas Open Meetings Act.
Local Parks Grants are funded annually following the October 1st application deadline each year. Applications will be accepted through Recreation Grants Online. Paper applications will not be accepted.
The process of reviewing grant applications requires about five months. A technical review by Recreation Grants staff will be followed by a review by agency resource staff.
If environmental concerns are identified such as potentially endangered species being located on the project site, additional environmental coordination and/or a survey may be required.
Recreation Grants will also coordinate the review of your project with the Texas Historical Commission (THC). When all of the information necessary to complete the application is received, the project is evaluated, put in priority order by score, and recommendations are presented to the Texas Parks & Wildlife Commission.
The TPW Commission makes all final decisions regarding awards of program funds. Each project applicant will be notified of the staff’s recommendation shortly before the TPW Commission hearing. The public is welcome to attend and participate at the hearing.
Deadlines and funding information may be found here:
Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.
Dana Lagarde, Local Parks Program Manager
Roxane Eley, Senior Project Coordinator
Aaron Friar, Project Coordinator
Dan Reece, Project Coordinator
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