This month: resources for funding recreational development
Urban Indoor (UI) Grant
Available to cities and counties with populations of more than 500,000. Grants of up to $1 million may be used to renovate or construct a facility permanently dedicated to indoor recreation. Ongoing maintenance and operational expenses are the grantee’s responsibility.
Urban Outdoor (UO) Grant
Provide funds to cities and counties to acquire and develop parkland. Grant recipients must permanently dedicate the land and funded facilities for public recreation. UO grants are subject to the same requirements, terms and population limits as UI grants.
Source: Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
Partnering for Impact
Cities can tap state and local grants for recreational development.
The Comptroller’s office empowers local governments and communities across the state with the information and tools they need to support economic development and create new jobs for Texans. Look for our special “Partnering for Impact” section in each edition, featuring timely, important information and tips for local governments and economic development corporations.
During lean economic times, as cities scramble to meet their essential services needs, the first budget items often targeted for reductions are parks and outdoor recreation facilities and programs. With careful planning and grants from state or local organizations, cities can continue recreational development while conserving scarce general revenue for essential services.
City 4A or 4B economic development corporations are key sources of local funds for matching park grants. Both entities may fund parks improvements, but grants by a 4B corporation only require approval from the corporation’s board of directors and the city council. For 4A corporations, the process is similar but also requires voter approval prior to funding a parks project.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) administers the Texas Recreation and Parks Account. Funded by a percentage of the state sales tax generated through the sales of sporting goods, this program provides funding for the acquisition of land and construction and improvement of recreational sites in five categories: Urban Indoor, Urban Outdoor, Indoor Facility, Outdoor and Small Community. All grants require a 50 percent local match.
Outdoor and indoor recreation grants are available to local governments with fewer than 500,000 residents. Funds may be used to acquire and improve parkland and/or renovate existing park facilities. These grants may not exceed $500,000 for outdoor, and $750,000 for indoor, in matching funds.
TPWD also administers a Small Community recreational grant program for cities and counties with populations of less than 20,000 residents. Subject to a maximum of $75,000, funds may be used for a wide variety of recreational projects including water parks, playgrounds, sport courts, ball fields and gardens. TR
For more information, contact your city’s 4A or 4B Economic Development Corporation at https://ecpa.cpa.state.tx.us/edcr/EdcrSearch.jsp.
For more information about recreation grant programs, contact the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Recreation Grants Branch, at (800) 792-1112 or visit the Web site at www.tpwd.state.tx.us/business/grants/trpa/