Land Acquisition and Planning

Overview of the Community Parks and Playgrounds Program

Photo of new colorful playground equipmentWhat is this program about?

The Community Parks and Playgrounds Program provides funding to focus on restoring existing and creating new park and green space systems in Maryland's cities and towns.

Flexible grants are provided to local governments which help them rehabilitate, expand or improve existing parks. Funding can help develop environmentally oriented parks and recreation projects, create new parks, or purchase and install playground equipment in older neighborhoods and intensely developed areas throughout the state.

Who runs it?

The Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Program Open Space, administers the Community Parks and Playgrounds Program. Program Open Space staff prepare and distribute application materials to local governments, and if necessary conduct grant writing workshops to assist local governments in documenting need and meeting program criteria.

Grant Applications are evaluated by Program Open Space staff and recommendations for grant selections are provided to the Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources for possible inclusion in the Governor's Budget. Following a State Clearinghouse review, the department submits the selected grants to the Board of Public Works for approval.

How are grants awarded?

Awards are competitive in nature. Program staff will review complete applications. Projects will be evaluated based on: consistency with Community Parks and Playground Program’s purpose, eligibility requirements and criteria, as well as the applicant’s project detail responses.

Who is eligible to apply for funds?

The Community Parks and Playgrounds Program provides funding to municipal corporations of the State and Baltimore City. Non-profit organizations are encouraged to partner with qualified applicants in project sponsorship and implementation.

Each applicant will be limited to one (1) grant application package per round of grant competition. If multiple projects are requested within an application package the local jurisdiction must supply a priority listing that indicates their preferred sequence of projects to be funded.

Applicants should be able to demonstrate the capacity to plan, implement and maintain the project (sufficient and qualified staff or contractor, effective administrative procedures and systems, evidence of past success, etc.)

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Project Criteria

Grant Proposal Process