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Open Space Grant Program

Grants to Colorado Tax Agencies in Eligible Communities to
Construct and Maintain Public Recreation Areas

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Adams County

Deadline Date:

07/24/19 4:30 PM Receipt


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Grants to Colorado tax agencies and districts in eligible communities, and government agencies and nonprofit organizations under their sponsorship, for the creation and maintenance of open areas accessible to the public. First-time applicants are required to contact staff prior to submitting an application.

The Adams County Open Space Grant Program offers Passive, Active, and Mini Grants. Mini Grants are geared towards smaller scale projects.

Active Use: Lands for park purposes and other recreational uses such as sports fields, golf courses and recreation centers. Park purposes shall be defined as the construction, equipping, acquisition and maintenance of park and recreational improvements and facilities for the use and benefit of the public.

Passive Use: Passive uses shall include, but not be limited to the purchase, construction and maintenance of: horse, bike or running trails; natural areas with limited development for fishing, hiking, walking or biking; wildlife preserves; lakes for fishing with accessible walks, docks, picnic areas and restrooms; conservation easements on agricultural land; environmental education programs; lands and waterways as community buffers; river and stream corridor land; unimproved flood plains; wetlands; preservation of cemeteries; and picnic facilities.

Projects that compete well in the Adams County Open Space Sales Tax grant program:

- Land acquisition (passive preferred over active)
- Conservation Easement acquisition
- Development of an open space for public access (trails, picnic facilities, fishing access, etc.)
- New park development (playgrounds, ball fields, ball courts, skate parks, picnic facilities, splash pads, landscaping, irrigation, etc.)
- Trail construction including pedestrian bridges and underpasses
- Park renovation
- Environmental education programs, scholarships, and materials
- Planning projects related to Parks, Trails, or Open Space
- Projects with a well‐defined, specific scope
- Wildlife habitat restoration

Projects that have been less favored but are eligible to compete for funding in the Adams County Open Space Sales Tax grant program include:

- Maintenance projects
- Operations projects/requests
- Equipment
- Indoor recreation centers and enhancements
- Broad, loosely defined projects
- Memorials
- Golf Courses

(For a complete list of eligible projects, see Policies and Procedures (pp.5-8) listed in Supporting Documents below.)

Facilities, including but not limited to parks, sports fields, golf courses, and recreation centers, or land must be accessible to the public, inclusive of those with disabilities, except for land acquisitions and conservation easements for agricultural preservation and habitat preservation.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 184989

Estimated Size of Grant:

A project is determined to be a Mini‐Grant if the total amount of the grant request does not exceed $5,000. Total funding provided for mini‐grants is limited to $50,000 per year.

Term of Contract:

All projects must be completed within two years of the grant award date.

Acquisition of property and design work previously completed and related to a specific project are eligible expenses, as long as the work is completed within three years of the application date.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Qualified Jurisdictions:

The Qualified Jurisdictions are defined as the sales tax collecting entities in the County and special districts that solely provide parks or recreational facilities or programs currently include: City of Arvada, City of Aurora, Town of Bennett, Bennett Park and Recreation District, City of Brighton, City of Commerce City, City of Federal Heights, Hyland Hills Park and Recreation District, City of Northglenn, Strasburg Parks and Recreation District, City of Thornton, City of Westminster, and Adams County. Qualified jurisdictions must have an adopted Parks and/or Open Space Plan. Metropolitan Districts that provide park and recreation services among other services shall not be considered park and recreation districts.

Any organization, including, but not limited to Metropolitan Districts providing services in addition to parks and recreation, other governmental entities and non‐profit organizations are eligible to apply, provided they are sponsored by a qualified jurisdiction. These organizations must receive sponsorship from one of the qualified jurisdictions, as evidenced by documentation from the sponsoring qualified jurisdiction indicating their sponsorship of and support for the project.

Pre-Application Information:

Applications for the Spring 2019 grant cycle are due February 1, 2019.

Timeline for Spring 2019 Grant Cycle:

- Early December 2018 - Grant applications are posted.
- December 15, 2018 - Deadline to request sponsorship from Adams County.
- December 2018 and January 2019 – Applicant Appointments. If you would like to apply for a grant and want to review your project with staff, Open Space staff are more than happy to meet with you.
- Friday, February 1st – Applications are due.
- Friday, February 1st – Friday, February 8th – Staff reviews applications.
- Friday, February 8th – Staff mails applications and score sheets to OSAB.
- Saturday, February 23rd – Site Tour - Staff and OSAB visit project sites. A representative of the applicant agency is asked to be on site to meet with the OSAB for approximately 10 minutes.
- Monday, February 25th – Deadline for grant applicants to submit final project presentations in PowerPoint format.
- Wednesday, February 27th – OSAB Meeting - Grant applicants present projects to the OSAB.
- Thursday, February 28th – Friday, March 22nd – OSAB submits questions regarding projects to Open Space staff. Open Space staff forward the questions to applicants. Applicants send responses to Open Space staff. Open Space staff forward responses to OSAB.
- Friday, March 8th – All OSAB score sheets due.
- Wednesday, March 27th – OSAB Meeting - Applicants are given time to address any questions posed by the OSAB. OSAB makes final recommendations for funding.
- Tuesday, April 23rd or 30th – A study session is scheduled with the BoCC. The BoCC reviews OSAB
recommendations and makes final decision for funding.
- Tuesday, May 14th or 21st – Public acknowledgement and the distribution of a Grant Agreement between the Adams County Open Space Program and successful grant applicants who will be receiving reimbursements.

Grant cycles occur twice each year in February and July. Grant applications are generally due on the First of February, unless it falls on a weekend in which case applications are due the following Monday, and the fourth Wednesday in July.

If you have never applied for an Adams County Open Space grant, please contact Renee Petersen to discuss the grant process and your proposed project.

Sponsorship: Organizations wishing to apply for an Adams County Open Space Grant must request and receive sponsorship from a qualified jurisdiction in order to submit a grant proposal for consideration. The role of the sponsoring qualified jurisdiction is flexible, but at minimum consists of providing approval for the requesting organization to apply for the program. The process for securing a sponsorship differs in each jurisdiction.

Each qualified jurisdiction or sponsored organization applying to the Open Space Program may only submit up to three (3) grants per grant cycle, up to two (2) of which may be full project applications (i.e., not mini‐grants).

Jurisdictions may only sponsor one project per organization per grant cycle, but there is no limit on the total number of applications a qualified jurisdiction may sponsor in any grant cycle. Organizations should contact the most appropriate qualified jurisdiction well ahead of the grant application due date to allow for enough time to navigate that jurisdiction’s process. If seeking sponsorship from Adams County, please contact Open Space staff at least 6 weeks ahead of the grant application due date for additional information. If a qualified jurisdiction agrees to sponsor an application, the sponsored application does not count against the qualified jurisdiction’s allowed number of applications per grant cycle.

Organizations wishing to request sponsorship from Adams County must submit a letter of request to Open Space Staff. The letter must be mailed, emailed, or faxed to the Open Space staff.

Once this request is received, Open Space staff will write a staff summary and send both the letter and the summary to the Board of County Commissioners for consideration. The Board of County Commissioners meets on Tuesday of each week but it can take up to four weeks for requests to be answered. For this reason, requests should be submitted to Open Space staff no later than six weeks prior to the grant application deadline. Sponsorship requests are due December 15th for spring grant cycles and June 15th for fall grant cycles. Late requests will not be accepted. If you have any questions about this process, please contact Shannon McDowell or Renee Petersen.

All projects must leverage the funds being requested of the Open Space Grant Program. For passive applications, applicants must provide a minimum of 30% of the total project costs toward the project. For active applications, a minimum of 40% must be provided. Any additional funds brought toward the project will be considered favorably by the OSAB during their evaluation.

Funding will be in the form of reimbursement. (For details, see Policies and Procedures.)

Contact Information:

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

Mail or deliver the application to:

Adams County Open Space
9755 Henderson Road
Brighton, CO 80601 and/or
Fax: 303.637.8015

First-time applicants should contact:

Renee Petersen

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Colorado: Arvada, Aurora, Bennett, Brighton, Commerce City, Federal Heights, Northglenn, Thornton, and Westminster; and Adams County