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Community Parks and Recreation Grants

DCNR’s Bureau of Recreation and Conservation builds connections between citizens and the outdoors by providing funding and technical assistance support for local recreation and park improvement projects through its Community Conservation Partnerships Program grants.

Funding priority is given to projects that implement elements of Pennsylvania’s 2014–2019 Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan.

Eligible applicants for parks and recreation grants include:

  • Municipalities
  • Municipal agencies
  • Nonprofit organizations

Most of the available funding opportunities require a cash or non-cash matching contribution that is equal to 50 percent of the project cost.

Community Recreation and Conservation Planning Funding

Funding is available to assists communities with planning for public parks, recreation, conservation areas, and facilities. Examples of projects can include:

  • Master site development plans
  • Comprehensive park, recreation, and open space plans
  • Pool feasibility studies
  • Land conservation and stewardship plans
  • Indoor recreation facility feasibility studies

Park Rehabilitation and Development Funding

Funding also is available to assist communities with the rehabilitation and development of sustainable public parks, recreation and conservation areas, and facilities.

These projects can support both indoor and outdoor community recreation pursuits, such as:

  • Community swimming pool construction or redevelopment
  • Playground installation
  • Sports field installation

Small Community Development Funding

Commonwealth municipalities with a population of 5,000 or less, as documented in the most recent U.S. Census, are eligible to receive grant funds for rehabilitation and/or new development of basic outdoor recreation and park facilities that provide a high level of recreational value.

Eligible municipalities may request a minimum of $50,000 and a maximum of $70,000 in grant funds.

The first $30,000 in grant funds does not require a match. Grant funds in excess of $30,000 require a $1 for $1 match.

A grant request for less than the minimum will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

The funding legislation requires the separation of costs for Professional Service Fees, Materials/Equipment, and Labor related to all Small Community Program projects.

A maximum of $10,000 of the grant award is earmarked for Professional Service Fees only and does not require a match.

In small communities where capacity may be limited, the Professional Service Fees allowance is intended to support a greater leadership role by a design consultant to ensure compliance with program requirements and successful completion of the project.

A minimum of $20,000 of the grant award must be used for Materials/Equipment Costs and/or additional Professional Service Fees and does not require a match.

The Total Project Costs for a Small Community Program project cannot exceed $110,000. Municipalities with large and complex projects exceeding $110,000 in total project costs should apply for Park Rehabilitation and Development (PRD) grant provided by DCNR.

If an eligible municipality applies for a Small Community Program grant, they may not also apply for a Park Rehabilitation and Development (PRD) grant for the in the same grant cycle.

Park Rehabilitation and Development Grant Project Webinar Series

DCNR’s Bureau of Recreation and Conservation offers informational videos for grantees to use throughout the project management process and for future grant applicants to learn more about what is involved with a Park Rehabilitation and Development grant project.

The webinars cover a variety of topics including:

Funding Sources for Community Parks and Recreation Grants

Community Recreation and Conservation Program grants are funded by:

  • Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund
  • Environmental Stewardship Fund
  • Growing Greener Bond Fund
  • Federal Land and Water Conservation Fund