Find Nonprofit and Small Business Grants

Advance Search

Only Available for Paid Subscribers
Clear Filters
Search Filters

Environmental Protection Fund Grant Program for Parks, Preservation and Heritage (EPF)

Grants to New York Nonprofits and Agencies
for Parks, Recreation, and Preservation Projects

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

Add to My Calendar 

New York State Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation (OPRHP)

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

07/28/17 4:00 PM


Request a Grant Writer

Grants to New York nonprofit organizations, government agencies, public authorities, and public benefit corporations to expand and improve heritage areas, parks, and historic properties. Funding may be requested for planning, development, acquisition, and improvement projects.

To ensure the public benefit from the investment of State funds, properties acquired or developed with grant funds will receive long-term protections, either through parkland alienation law, conservation easements, or public access or preservation covenants recorded against the deeds.

Parks Program:

For the acquisition, development or planning of parks and recreational facilities to preserve, rehabilitate or restore lands, waters or structures for park, recreation or conservation purposes and for structural assessments and/or planning for such projects. Examples of eligible projects include: playgrounds, courts, rinks, community gardens, and facilities for swimming, boating, picnicking, hunting, fishing, camping or other recreational activities.

-Public access covenants will be conveyed to the State for all park development projects undertaken by not-for-profit corporations.

-Conservation easements will be conveyed to the State for parkland acquisition projects undertaken by not-for-profit corporations.

-Parkland acquired or improved by a municipality must remain parkland in perpetuity. Information is available in the “Handbook on the Alienation and Conversion of Municipal Parkland.”

Historic Preservation Program

To acquire, improve, protect, preserve, rehabilitate or restore properties listed on the State or National Register of Historic Places and for structural assessments and/or planning for such projects. All work must conform to the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties and professional qualifications as defined in “Historic Preservation Terms and Professional Qualifications”.

-Properties not currently listed, but scheduled for nomination review at the State Board for Historic Preservation meeting of either June 15, 2017, or September 14, 2017, are eligible to apply for funding. Questions about or proposals for listing on the State or National Register should be directed to the OPRHP National Register Unit at (518) 237-8643.

-Preservation covenants or conservation easements will be conveyed to the State for all Historic Preservation grants.

-Grant funds cannot be used for constructing contemporary additions on an historic property unless that work will provide universal access and/or eliminate code deficiencies for access/egress, such as an elevator or stair tower.

-Multi-purpose additions to historic buildings and free-standing new construction on historic properties are not eligible for this grant program.

Heritage Area Program

For projects to acquire, preserve, rehabilitate or restore lands, waters or structures identified in the approved management plans for Heritage Areas designated under section 35.03 of the Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Law, and for structural assessments or planning for such projects.

-To ensure a public benefit from the investment of state funds, appropriate long-term protections in the form of public-access covenants, preservation covenants or conservation easements will be conveyed to the State for all Heritage Area grants.

Allowable Costs:

All expenditures under these grants must be for goods and services procured in a manner so as to assure the prudent and economical use of public money in the best interests of the taxpayers of the State of New York, to facilitate the acquisition of goods and services of maximum quality at the lowest possible cost under the circumstances, and to guard against nepotism, favoritism, improvidence, extravagance, fraud and corruption. Such procedures may include, but are not limited to, competitive bidding, the solicitation of three price quotes, written requests for proposals, etc.

Eligible budget items include:

Pre-Development Planning and Design:

-Design Fees and other Professional Fees are allowed for the preparation of construction documents and to satisfy other pre-construction requirements. Pre-development costs must be incurred during the project term or in the three years prior to the application deadline. In general, pre-development costs should not exceed fifteen percent (15%) of the construction costs.

-Archeology includes field work, report writing, curation of artifacts and interpretation. If your project includes any ground-disturbing activity (e.g., trenching, grading, demolition, new construction, etc.), it is very likely that an archeological survey will be required unless you can provide adequate documentation of prior ground disturbance. Your budget should take into account the need for an archeological survey. Contact your regional grants administrator (RGA) to determine the need and anticipated costs for archeology.

-Project planning is eligible for stand-alone funding in all three programs. This funding is intended for project-specific planning, such as designs and specifications for rehabilitation of a historic property or structural assessment of a dock for public fishing, not for comprehensive Open Space or Management Plans.


-Capital costs can include labor, materials and other necessary costs for permanent capital improvements to the property that are directly related to the recreational, conservation, historic preservation, and/or heritage development purposes of the grant program. The budget should be broken down by categories of expenditure, such as utilities/infrastructure, site preparation, landscaping, carpentry, etc.

-The budget may include purchase of permanent equipment necessary to achieve the project purposes (e.g., playground equipment, interpretive kiosks), but cannot include operational or maintenance equipment such as mowers or automotive equipment.

-The budget may include costs to undertake construction, such as rent/lease of heavy equipment, but cannot offset overhead and operating expenses, such as office rental.

-For historic preservation projects on sectarian properties, grant assistance can fund only costs necessary for historically accurate restoration to restore and preserve the historic integrity of the historic property, and only to the extent that those costs exceed the cost of basic rehabilitation.


-The application must identify each parcel proposed for acquisition, the type of interest to be acquired (fee simple, lease, easement, etc.) and method of acquisition (purchase, donation or transfer from another use), number of acres and estimated fair market value of the parcel(s) documented by a written estimate of value (windshield appraisal) by a qualified appraiser. Acquisition costs must be incurred during the project term or up to one year prior to the application deadline.

-Associated acquisition costs, such as the cost of appraisals (one appraisal is required for any parcel valued under $300,000; two appraisals are required for any parcel valued at $300,000 or more), surveys, title search, legal fees, title insurance (required for this grant) and, where a conservation easement is required, the cost of title continuation and recordation are eligible costs.

-Construction Supervision costs are those associated with the coordination, supervision and scheduling of work and may be provided by a qualified member of the applicant’s staff, the design professional who prepared the construction documents, or a clerk of the works.

-Grant Administration costs include expenses associated with administering the grant after it is awarded, such as preparing the project agreement, affirmative action, solicitation of Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprises (MWBEs), and payment request documentation. In general, these costs should not exceed ten percent (10%) of the grant amount. The cost of preparing this application is NOT eligible.

-Procurement Costs include costs for assuring competitive pricing, such as costs for distributing Requests for Proposals and for public advertising for bids, including the cost of advertising in specialty publications, such as minority newspapers and appropriate construction publications.

-Audit: An accounting of grant expenditures and revenues is required. Generally, this is accomplished by detailed auditing of every payment request. Depending upon the grant award and complexity, the State may require an Agreed Upon Procedure Review (AUPR) performed by a representative of the State or a Certified Public Accountant prior to the final reimbursement.

-Project Sign: All grant-funded projects, except for those funding planning only, must have a project sign noting the funding assistance. Signs are available for purchase through the State for approximately $57.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 171882

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant:

Grant awards are capped at $500,000.

Term of Contract:

All projects must be completed within five years from date of award.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible Types of Applicants:
-State Agencies
-Public Benefit Corporations
-Public Authorities
-Not-for-profit Corporations that have tax-exempt status under the IRS code, are current with pertinent federal and state filings and are pre-qualified in the Grants Gateway (see

The applicant must have an ownership interest in the project property.

Where the applicant is not the property owner:
-If the project is for planning only, the owner must grant the applicant any access necessary to complete the project.
-If the project involves acquisition of the property, the application must include documentation of the owner’s intent to sell, donate or transfer the property.
-If the project involves improvement/development of the property, the owner must agree to sign the project agreement and any long term protection document.

If there are additional parties with an ownership interest in the property, including lien holders, all parties must agree to sign the project agreement and all lien holders must subordinate their interests to those of the State.

Ineligible Costs:
-Work completed prior to award is not eligible for reimbursement or for match. There are two exceptions: Professional services and materials purchased or donated, but not installed, up to three years prior to the application deadline may be applied toward the matching share; Acquisition costs retroactive no more than one year prior to the application deadline are eligible costs.
-Comprehensive open space or management plans.
-Application preparation.
-Contingencies, training, travel, OJT wages, working capital, marketing, taxes, interest, purchase of operational or maintenance equipment, salaries and wages, overhead or operating expenses, rent/lease are ineligible unless noted otherwise above.
-Fundraising events/expenses.
-Bond interest and associated fees. The interest associated with a Bond or Bond Anticipation Note (BAN) cannot be calculated into project cost, whether for reimbursement or local match.
-Lobbying expenses.
-Costs that are not adequately justified or that do not directly support the project.

Pre-proposal Conference:

The Regional Economic Development Council’s statewide training workshops will provide an overview of the Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) process and how to access up to $750 million in economic development funding from agency programs through one application. Additionally, there will be informational breakout sessions on specific areas of funding available for economic development projects.

The training workshops are open to local economic development officials, municipalities, non-profits, businesses and members of the public.

The workshop will take place in Capital Region on 6/26/2017, 2:00 PM - 4:30 PM, Troy, Hudson Valley Community College

More information regarding workshops may be found here:

Pre-Application Information:

Grants can fund up to 50% of total project cost, up to 75% if the project is located in a high-poverty district.

This grant program is administered on a reimbursement basis.

The deadline for submission is 4:00 PM on Friday, July 28, 2017.

Contact Information:

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

RSVP for the June 23 workshop in Lake Placid, NY:

RSVP for the June 26 workshop in Troy, NY:

The Consolidated Funding Application is available through:

Grant program questions can be directed to your regional grant administrator:

CFA system and process questions should be directed to the regional economic development contact for your region.

Grant Coverage Areas:

The designated Heritage Areas with approved Management Plans are listed at, which also provides links to maps showing exact Heritage Area boundaries.

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: New York City;   New York