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Outdoor Recreation Grant

Grants to Minnesota Local and Tribal Agencies for
Acquisition and Development of Recreational Areas

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Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR)

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Grants starting at $5,000 to Minnesota local governments for the acquisition, development, and redevelopment of outdoor recreational facilities for public use. Possible facilities include but are not limited to trails, campgrounds, fishing areas, playgrounds, sport fields, and courts, and skating rinks.

Eligible Projects:
-Acquisition of land for future development of outdoor recreation facilities. Public access, including parking, must be provided within 1 year. Recreation facilities must be developed within three years from the date of acquisition.
-Development, redevelopment or rehabilitation of outdoor recreation facilities on land owned by the applicant.
-A combination of land acquisition and development, redevelopment or rehabilitation of outdoor recreation facilities.

Eligible Recreation Facilities:

One or more of the following major recreation facilities must be included in a proposed project.
-Boat/Canoe Access Sites
-Fishing Piers/Shore Fishing Areas
-Skating Rinks/Parks
-Nature Study/Observation Areas
-Picnic Shelters
-Sports Fields and Courts
-Swimming Beaches and Outdoor Pools
-Splash Parks
-Trails (non-motorized internal park trails)

Eligible Recreation Support Facilities:

The following facilities are also eligible for funding as part of a grant application that contains at least one facility from the eligible recreation facilities list above.

-Change Houses, Restrooms, Shower Buildings and Warming Houses
-Fencing, Lighting and Signs
-Landscaping and Natural Area Restoration
-Park Roads and Parking Areas (may not exceed 40% of the total project cost)
-Fixed park furnishings such as Seats, Drinking Fountains, Grills, Picnic Tables, Trash Receptacles and Fire Pits

Selection Priorities:

SCORP Plan - Selection criteria are based on strategic directions identified under the following three focus areas in the SCORP Plan:
-Connect People and the Outdoors: Better develop Minnesota’s stewards of tomorrow through efforts to increase life-long participation in parks and trails. Provide a welcoming environment, create or improve access and provide a quality experience.
-Acquire Land, Create Opportunities: Create new and expanded park opportunities to satisfy current customers as well as to reach out to new ones. Focus on Strategic acquisition, development to meet the needs of people of all abilities and provides an environment that is open and flexible to accommodate new and emerging trends and group based recreational opportunities and establishing a sustainable and resilient infrastructure.
-Take Care of What We Have: Provide safe, high-quality park experiences by regular re-investment in park infrastructure, and natural resource management. Protect the public’s investment in the built infrastructure and natural resources and maintain the quality of natural resources.

Additional Non-SCORP Review Components:
-Project Specific Criteria including: Cost vs. benefit, application and project quality and local match.
-Park and Facility Design: Use & design are compatible with site; makes good use of available space; avoids conflicts among facilities; avoids conflicts with adjacent uses;
-Health and Safety: Consider health and safety risks;
-Appropriate Design Standards: All facilities must be accessible and designed consistent with standards;
-Environmental Intrusions: All non-recreational intrusions are documented and the impact has been considered in the park design. All power lines serving the park facilities must be placed underground.

Applicants are eligible to receive more than one grant provided they are unique parks.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 169443

Estimated Size of Grant:

The minimum grant award is $5,000 and the maximum grant award is $150,000.

Term of Contract:

Grant agreements generally expire within 24 months and projects must be completed by then.

Project start dates may be in the fall of 2018 or later, depending on the funding available and the project ranking. Funded projects must begin promptly after an agreement has been signed. All work must be completed no later than June 30, 2020.

Acquisition Projects: Public access, including parking, must be provided within 1 year. Recreation facilities must be developed within three years from the date of acquisition.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible applicants are cities, counties, and townships.

Note: The applicant must be the current or intended owner and manager of the property to be acquired or developed. Multi-organization collaboration is not required for this program.

Ineligible Facilities and Costs:

Ineligible facilities or costs are those items that cannot be funded with an Outdoor Recreation Grant or included as part of the local match requirement. The following list includes common types of ineligible facilities. A determination of eligibility will be made by the Department of Natural Resources.

-Costs incurred before the grant contract start date
-Administrative Expenses, Contingency Allowance, Legal Fees
-Design and Engineering in excess of 10% of the Total Construction Cost.
-Concession-only Buildings
-Decorative Fountains, Statues and Plaques
-Dredging, Water Impoundments and Dams
-Facilities not available for general public use
-Golf Courses, Shooting Ranges
-Indoor Recreational Facilities (i.e.: ice arenas, enclosed swimming pools, etc.) -Acquisition of land already in public ownership
-Motorized Trails
-Non-Permanent Skate Park Ramps, Press Boxes
-Sewer to Campsites

Pre-Application Information:

The program finances projects using federal funds through the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LAWCON). Federal Funding available for FY 2019 is at least $825,618 to be divided between the Outdoor Recreation Grant Program and the Natural and Scenic Areas Grant Program.

State Funding available for FY 2019 is $250,000 in general fund dollars and a portion of approximately $800,000 from “In Lieu Of” lottery proceeds to be divided between three Park and Trail grant programs. Additional state Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund dollars have been recommended by the Legislative Citizens Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR) and may be available but are subject to Legislative approval.

Grants are reimbursed up to 50 percent of the total eligible costs. The remaining 50 percent "local share" can consist of cash or the value of materials, labor and equipment usage provided by the local sponsor or by local donations or any combination thereof. Volunteer unskilled labor is valued, for this grant program, at $9.00 per hour.

Costs must be incurred and paid for before reimbursement can be made.

You are encouraged to submit any draft application or materials by March 9th if you would like staff to provide comments.

Applications must be submitted by March 30, 2018 to be eligible for funding assistance for the current year.

The Department of Natural Resources will review and rank applications during the spring of 2018. Preliminary grant awards will be announced in the summer of 2018.

Contact Information:

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

Audrey Mularie, Southern Minnesota, North Metro
(651) 259-5549

Joe Hiller, Northern Minnesota, South Metro
(651) 259-5538

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
Division of Parks and Trails
500 Lafayette Road, Box 39
Saint Paul, MN 55155

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Minnesota