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Outdoor Recreation Grant

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

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Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR)

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Grants starting at $10,000 to Minnesota local governments for the acquisition, development, and redevelopment of outdoor recreational facilities and local parks for public use. Possible facilities include but are not limited to trails, campgrounds, fishing and swimming areas, playgrounds, sport fields and courts, and skating rinks. All park projects must meet requirements for perpetual outdoor recreation use.

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)

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

A majority of the review and selection process will focus on guidelines outlined in the 2014-2018 SCORP. Additional review components will assess the design of the proposed project and existing park facilities. Project design should be compatible with the physical characteristics of the site, consistent with generally accepted engineering and architectural design standards, in accordance with accessibility standards and minimize risk to the health and safety of users. Support facilities such as restrooms and parking lots can only be funded as part of a larger project that includes a primary recreation facility. Land proposed for development and/or redevelopment must be owned by the applicant or be part of an acquisition project.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 169443

Estimated Size of Grant:

The minimum grant award is $10,000 and the maximum grant award is $250,000.

Term of Contract:

- Projects cannot begin until all requested final documentation has been submitted and an agreement between the applicant and the state has been signed.
- Project start dates may be in the fall of 2019 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, 2021.

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.

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:

Completed applications are to be submitted electronically in PDF form by March 29, 2019.

Staff members are available to discuss your project or review application materials. You are encouraged to submit any draft application or materials by March 8th if you would like staff to provide comments

The review and selection process will take place after March 30, and funding announcements will be made in summer. Incomplete applications or applications received after the deadline will not be eligible for funding consideration. Program staff will review applications and, if necessary, a site visit will be conducted.

The program finances projects using federal funds through the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LAWCON). Federal Funding available for FY 2020 is at least $785,000 and may be up to 2 million to be divided between the Outdoor Recreation Grant Program and the Natural and Scenic Areas Grant Program. State Funding available for FY 2020 is $345,000 in Environmental and Natural Resources Trust Fund dollars and a portion of $850,000 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 other state funding may be available but are subject to Legislative approval.

Grants are reimbursed up to 50 percent of the total eligible costs. The local share can consist of cash or the value of materials, labor and equipment usage by the local sponsor or by donations or any combination thereof. Costs must be incurred and paid for before reimbursement can be made. Applicants are eligible to receive more than one grant. Significant progress must be completed on active projects before an additional proposal can be submitted.


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