CARPDC understands that providing recreational opportunities for residents in our region is an important service our local governments strive to provide their communities.
We also recognize that financial support for parks and recreation can produce a monetary strain based on the limited resources of most governments. CARPDC is therefore ready to assist with project development and grant application submission to help address identified recreational needs. Following are brief summaries of the most popular grant programs associated with outdoor recreational development.
Good Roots (Tree Grant) by the Alabama Power Foundation
This program is in partnership with the Alabama Urban Forestry Association and will supply up to $1,000 per grant to purchase trees for planting in cities, towns, communities, and at nonprofit organizations across the state.
Mid-South Resource Conservation and Development Council (Mid-South RC&D)
This program provides grants for projects that meet their mission which is to empower local citizens to develop and carry out action-oriented plans for the social, economic, and environmental enrichment of their communities. These grant applications must request a minimum of $2,000 and typically are not funded for more than $10,000. This program is on a reimbursement basis. The next deadline for this program is anticipated to be in July 2019.
ADECA Recreational Trails Program (RTP)
The maximum grant amount that can be applied for is $200,000 for non-motorized, single-use trail projects; $400,000 for non-motorized, diverse-use trail projects; $500,000 for motorized, diverse-use trail projects, or approximately $87,000 for education based on any given year’s funding level.
Only one application may be submitted by an applicant; however, an application may contain multiple sites and the non-federal matching share may exceed the minimum required to satisfy the federal matching requirement. Jurisdictions with an open RTP grant or LWCF grant cannot apply unless the project will be closed by the established application deadline. FY 2018 had a December 21, 2018 submission deadline.
ADECA Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF)
Federal funds for this program are often slow to be made available to the State. This year’s application deadline is December 21, 2018. This is a 50/50 grant to match ratio with a maximum grant award of $350,000. Awards for this program are estimated to be made in November 2019.
LWCF assistance can be used to acquire land and water interests for park purposes, develop new outdoor recreation facilities, and in certain instances, renovate existing recreational facilities. Virtually all public outdoor recreation activities are eligible for assistance under the program including playgrounds, ball fields (including lights – concrete poles only), court sports, picnic areas, camping area, tracks, trails, splash pads, zip lines, etc. In addition, support facilities such as concession stands, comfort stations, park access roads, parking areas, utilities, and site preparation necessary to make a recreation activity area usable may qualify for assistance. The project sponsor must either own, or have a perpetual interest in land that is developed with LWCF assistance.
ADECA CDBG Community Enhancement (CE) Fund
This funding category is one of four community development programs administered by the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) and must meet one of three HUD National Objectives. These objectives include benefitting at least 51% low-and-moderate income persons, aiding in the prevention or elimination of slum and blight, or meeting other urgent needs posing a serious threat to the health or welfare of the community. A community cannot apply for these funds if they have an open CDBG grant and only one competitive grant application may be submitted per funding cycle.
The CE fund can be used to provide funding for eligible activities that communities consider important to enhance the community in a manner beyond providing for the most basic and essential needs. This includes recreational facilities which most often addresses park improvements such as ball fields, ADA compliance, restroom facilities and the like most often outside the financial reach of our governments. The grant ceiling is $250,000 with a minimum of $50,000. There is a 10% match required.