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New Grant Program Announced for Parks and Outdoor Spaces

Thursday, July 03, 2014 | 04:52am

TDEC’s Recreation Educational Services Accepting Applications for the National Program Through August 1

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation’s Recreation Educational Services Division (RES) announced today that applications are available for a new National Park Service pilot grant program, the Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership Program.

The nationwide pilot program is for projects that will create or reinvigorate parks and other outdoor recreation spaces in ways that will encourage people, especially youth, to connect or reconnect with the outdoors. Priority will be given to projects located in urbanized communities that are economically disadvantaged and are underserved in terms of outdoor recreation resources.

“This new grant program is a great opportunity for some of the underserved areas in our state to create great outdoor recreation opportunities,” Recreation Educational Services Director Gerald Parish said. “I encourage our state parks, along with our larger cities, to submit proposals for this national competition.”

A total of $3 million is available for the entire nationwide competition, with each state eligible to submit only two applications. Cities with populations of 50,000 or more and the counties they reside in, along with Tennessee State Parks, are eligible to apply. The submitted projects must include acquisition and/or development of public park land. Applicants can request between $250,000 and $500,000 and the grants require a 1:1 match from state, local or private sources.

TDEC’s Recreation Educational Services Division will accept application proposals through Friday, August 1, 2014. Submissions will be evaluated by RES staff and the top two projects will be forwarded to the National Park Service to compete in the national competition where six to 12 proposals will be awarded. If selected, additional information will be required. The anticipated award date is between January 1 and April 1, 2015. For more information and to submit an application, contact RES Director Gerald Parish at 731-695-1545 or Gerald.Parish@tn.gov.  

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