Rails-to-trails is an exciting movement that converts abandoned railroad tracks into trails for pedestrians, equestrians, cyclists and kinetic enthusiasts of all kind. High profile repurposed lines include the Atlanta Beltway, Chicago’s Bloomingdale Trail, and New York's High Line which is beginning to rival Central Park as a must visit tourist attraction. Whether urban, rural, or somewhere in between, recycled railroads are a perfect place for fitness, fun, and financial renaissance. The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy via the Doppelt Family Trail Development Fund is currently offering competitive grants to build or improve mulituse trails.Read More
If we have brought you a bounty of nature-related grants lately, there is good reason for it. As it turns out, what is good for the environment is good for us as well. In addition to improved physical and mental health for individuals, green space is critical to urban areas. The U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) and the Scotts Miracle-Gro Company agree. They have partnered with each other to grow one thousand community gardens and green spaces by 2018 with their GRO1000 Gardens and Green Spaces Grant Program.Read More
Are you still going through Olympic withdrawal, one month after the closing ceremony? While everyone else is looking forward to cozy fires and hot chocolate, are you dreading being cooped up indoors? Just because the weather will be turning colder does not mean you have to put sports on hold! Now may be a good time to research the sports grants you need for your perfect future line ups. Here are just a few of the many organizations that fund sports programs to help get you started!Read More
Parks are important to the health of a community. We know this beyond a shadow of a doubt. Sure, they encourage exercise. But increased physical activity is only one of many benefits of parks. They have the potential to enhance economic opportunities, increase property values, offset pollution, and reduce crime. There are even studies that have connected time spent in nature with greater attention spans, lower stress levels, and better pain management.Read More
|Zion National Park. Photo by author.|
You’ve heard the refrain many times before: If Congress doesn’t act by x date, y funding for z programs will be cut. Well, the song remains the same for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), whose funding over the last 50 years has provided more than $4 billion in matching grants for projects such as parkland acquisition and facility development, including the acquisition of California’s Big Sur coast and Harpers Ferry in West Virginia. The fund sunsets in September if Congress does not act in time.
Fortunately, the City Parks Alliance (CPA) has released an excellent report on the subject detailing the variety of benefits that come from investing in our state and urban parks: promoting public health, generating jobs, attracting residents and businesses, leveraging private-sector investment, and lowering infrastructure costs for cities. Of course, not all benefits are measurable, like beauty, but they underly what we quantify.Read More
The 2014 NRPA Parks and Recreation National Database Report states that across most municipalities, budgets have tightened over the past few years, impacting how parks and recreation departments secure needed funding. Operating expenses may have remained constant, but direct revenues have decreased. In the “good old days,” taxes adequately funded maintenance and capital expenditures. When that wasn’t enough, departments added user fees. Pretty soon those funding sources no longer kept pace with the ever-increasing expenses.
Topics: Parks and Recreation
As cities strive to recover from the nation’s most recent recession, projects that create new jobs, retain existing ones, and attract new businesses are in high demand. Economic development is the buzz term of the day and communities are constantly seeking grants and other funding sources that will support their employment goals. However, one area is often overlooked in the discussion—parks. Yes, parks!