will continue to serve the nonprofit and small business community during the COVID-19 global crisis.  In addition to posting new COVID-19 Coronavirus funding opportunities, we will continue to update active grants with new extended grant deadlines.  While we are carefully monitoring funding opportunities and updating throughout each day, the situation is dynamic. We ask that all GrantWatch members review the URL listed in the grant posting and all material provided by the funding source prior to submitting applications.

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Outdoor Recreation Grant

Grants to Minnesota Local and Tribal Agencies for Property Development
Projects that Provide Public Recreational Opportunities

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Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR)

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Grants to Minnesota municipalities for property development projects that benefit the community in eligible focus areas. Focus Areas include the purchase, creation, expansion, and refurbishment of spaces for public enjoyment. Funding is intended to be used for out-of-doors projects, including the creation of trails, campgrounds, fishing and swimming areas, skating rinks, playgrounds, sport fields and courts.

The Outdoor Recreation Grant Program assists local governments in acquiring parkland and developing or redeveloping outdoor recreation facilities. Applicants are eligible to receive more than one grant provided they are unique parks. All park projects must meet requirements for perpetual outdoor recreation use. 

Eligible Projects:

  • Acquisition of land for future development of outdoor recreation facilities. Public access, including parking, must be provided within one year. Recreation facilities must be developed within three years from the date of acquisition.
  •  Development, redevelopment or rehabilitation of outdoor recreation facilities on land owned by the applicant.
  • A combination of land acquisition and development, redevelopment or rehabilitation of outdoor recreation facilities.

Eligible Recreation Facilities: One or more of the following major recreation facilities must be included in a proposed project:

  • Boat/Canoe Access Sites
  • Campgrounds
  • Fishing Piers/Shore Fishing Areas
  • Skating Rinks/Parks
  • Nature Study/Observation Areas
  • Picnic Shelters.
  • Playgrounds
  • Sports Fields and Courts
  • Swimming Beaches and Outdoor Pools
  • Splash Parks
  • Trails (non-motorized internal park trails)

Eligible Recreation Support Facilities: 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 (Seats, Drinking Fountains, Grills, Picnic Tables, Trash Receptacles and Fire Pits)
  • Walkways

Support facilities such as restrooms and parking lots can only be funded as part of a larger project that includes a primary recreation facility. 

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 169443

Estimated Size of Grant:

The minimum grant award is $10,000 and the maximum grant award is $250,000.
Grants are reimbursed up to 50 percent of the total eligible costs.

Term of Contract:

Grant agreements generally expire within 24 months and projects must be completed by then. Project start dates may be in the Fall of 2020 or later, depending on the funding available and the project ranking. Funded projects must begin promptly after an agreement has been signed. Projects must be completed no later than June 30, 2022.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible Applicants: Cities, Counties, and Townships. Applicants must be the current or intended owners and managers of the property to be acquired or developed. Multi-organization collaboration is not required for this program.

All facilities within the park must be designed and available for general public use and open during typical park hours. This includes restrooms, picnic shelters, campgrounds, playgrounds and other structures. For parks that include marina or campground facilities, a minimum of 50% of the berths/campground spaces must be available for short-term rental and an equitable method of allocating long-term rentals shall be used. All personal property must be removed at the end of each use season. See: Campground Marina/Rental Policy in Supporting Documents.

All facilities improved with this grant project must meet current Americans with Disabilities (ADA) standards and all critical components of the park listed below, must be accessible to persons with disabilities. See: ADA Requirements in Supporting Documents.

Project proposals must have a total project cost of at least $20,000.

Ineligible Facilities and Expenses:
- Construction of any facility on land not owned by the grant recipient
- Acquisition of land already in public ownership
- Any expenditure that occurs outside the dates of the grant contract
- Facilities not available for general public use
- Administrative expenses, contingency allowances, archeological surveys and legal fees
- Design and engineering in excess of 10% of the total construction cost
- Construction of indoor recreational facilities (i.e.: ice arenas, enclosed swimming pools, etc.), concession-only buildings, press boxes, golf courses, shooting ranges and motorized trails
- Decorative fountains, statues and plaques
- Non-permanent skate park ramps
- Sewer to individual campsites

Pre-Application Information:

Timeline: 2020 Grant Round
- Application materials become available: December 2019
- Draft Application Submitted for Staff Review by: March 6, 2020
- Application Submission deadline: March 27, 2020
- Awards announced: June 2020
- Agreements signed; projects may begin: September-October 2020
- Grants expire; projects must be completed by: June 30, 2022

Draft Project or Application Review: Applicants are encouraged to submit their draft applications or materials by March 6, 2020 in order to receive staff comments in time to complete an Applicant Resolution and any appraisals (if the project includes land acquisition).

Matching Grants: Provides matching grants to local units of government for up to 50% of the cost of acquisition, development and/or redevelopment of local parks and recreation areas.

Level of Assistance: Grants are reimbursed based 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.

Reimbursements: Payment of grant funds to the local sponsor is on a reimbursement basis. The grant recipient must initially expend monies that are then reimbursed under the terms of the grant agreement. A portion of the grant funds will be retained until a final inspection has been completed.

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.

To submit the application, email a .pdf version of the application and attachments to:

Audrey Mularie
Grants Specialist Coordinator
Southern MN, East Metro
(651) 259-5549

Mai Neng Moua
Grants Specialist Coordinator
Northern MN, South Metro
(651) 259-5638

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
Division of Parks and Trails
500 Lafayette Road, Box 39
Saint Paul, MN 55155

DNR Information Center, 1-888-646-6367

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Minnesota

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