Chester County, Department of Open Space Preservation
02/28/19 4:00 PM
Grants to Chester County, Pennsylvania municipalities and municipal recreation authorities to preserve land and support trail, greenway, and park construction and acquisition projects. Applicants must arrange a site visit with program staff prior to applying. Projects should result in maximum public benefit and attract funding from other sources. Applicants that propose preservation of the most land with the least amount of County Funds will receive priority consideration.
Development Projects: Construction of recreation facilities such as ball fields, tennis courts, basketball courts, trails, playgrounds, nature study areas, pavilions, and parking lots associated with these improvements are eligible.
Development Projects with Special Conditions: The following items are eligible projects if they are combined with land preservation which advances the County’s goals:
A. Support facilities including improvements such as restrooms, parking lots (other than listed above), drinking fountains, site amenities (benches, trash cans, grills, etc.), signs, electric installation, handicapped access, etc.
B. Purchase of portable recreation equipment such as basketball nets, football goalposts and soccer goals and baseball/softball bases, etc.
C. Purchase or repair of scoreboards.
D. A combined property or easement acquisition and development project.
E. Construction of and/or improvements to any structures and buildings for compatible park usage. Structures that are not for park use are ineligible.
A. Fee simple land acquisition of privately owned property that insures public access and benefit. Contiguous parcels under separate ownership may be considered as one project on a case by case basis.
B. Acquisition of conservation easements with provisions for public access, including right-of-way easements for recreational use.
C. Land purchases from non-County governmental agencies where the acquisition will result in a substantial increase in public access and use.
D. Acquisition of eased or restricted property if ownership will significantly increase public access and recreational opportunities on the property.
E. Projects involving fully donated land or easement that meet the County’s Municipal Grant Program goals and objectives.
F. Acquisition of land that can be transferred to a non-profit whose mission includes providing food/agricultural commodities, but does not preclude other uses. Prior to reimbursement and/or transfer the required Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (Declaration) must be filed at the Chester County Recorder of Deeds. This Declaration would allow the property to be used for farming at the current time but require the option of future use as recreation, trails, and natural area preservation if farming ever ceased.
Eligible Costs for Reimbursement, and Limitations can be found here:
GrantWatch ID#: 168187
- Acquisition Grants reimburse up to $500,000 of the appraised value to buy land, conservation easements, or trail easements. If an extraordinary conservation opportunity presents itself, the County will consider requests in excess of $500,000 on a case-by-case basis but only up to the 50% funding level.
- Development Grants reimburse park facility and trail construction costs at a maximum of 50% up to $250,000 for parks of 20 or more contiguous acres, and a maximum of 25% up to $100,000 for parks less than 20 acres.
The contract length is three (3) years from the date the grant is awarded.
Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.
Submit one electronic (flash drive, CD) or hard copy application to:
Chester County Department of Open Space Preservation
601 Westtown Road, Suite 390
P.O. Box 2747
West Chester, PA 19380-0990
Judy Thomas, Preservation Programs Coordinator
USA: Pennsylvania: Chester County