PROVIDENCE – The Department of Environmental Management (DEM) announced today that $5 million in outdoor recreation matching grants is available to help local municipalities and Native American tribes acquire, develop, or renovate outdoor recreational facilities in their communities. The DEM Recreation Acquisition and Development Grant Program's 2020 grant round is now open, with a deadline of December 11, 2019. Funding provided through the 2018 Green Economy and Clean Water Bond – which Rhode Island voters approved by a margin of almost 80 percent last November – is capitalizing the grants.
"There are tremendous economic, health, and environmental benefits to modernizing our recreational facilities and creating greenspace in our cities," said Governor Gina M. Raimondo. "These features – as well as the many amazing parks, beaches, and other natural areas around the state – help attract people to live and grow a family or business in Rhode Island. Promoting this critical sector of our economy is key to moving our state forward."
Since the inception of DEM's community recreation grant program in 1988, more than 500 grants have been awarded and over $73 million invested in improvements in all 39 Rhode Island communities.
Recreation development grants require a 20 percent community match. Applicants can apply for either small grants, for grant funding up to $100,000, or large grants, for grant funding up to $400,000. Recreation acquisition grants require a 50 percent match and are capped at $400,000. Applicants are encouraged to review the grant instructions available at www.dem.ri.gov/plangrants.
Electronic applications are encouraged and should be forwarded to Lisa McGreavy in the Division of Planning & Development at email@example.com by 3 PM on Wednesday, December 11, 2019. Proposals and supporting materials also may be mailed to Ms. McGreavy's attention at DEM, Division of Planning & Development, 235 Promenade Street, Providence, RI 02908. Rhode Island municipalities and recognized Native American tribes are eligible to apply.
Rhode Island's outdoor recreation industry is an increasingly important part of our state's economy, contributing an estimated $3.3 billion annually and supporting 36,000 jobs. As part of a larger network of recreational opportunities in the state, municipal facilities play an important role in beautifying communities, supporting public health, and promoting a cleaner environment.
DEM's Green Space programs – which include Outdoor Recreation, Local Open Space, and Recreational Trail grants – fund land conservation, recreational land acquisition and development, and recreational trail development and improvements statewide. Rhode Island's historic parks, bikeways, and green spaces provide opportunity for public enjoyment – in addition to improving the health of the environment, strengthening the state's climate resilience, and supporting the economy. According to the Outdoor Industry Association, outdoor recreation in Rhode Island generates $2.4 billion in consumer spending and supports 24,000 local jobs.
For more information on DEM programs and initiatives, visit www.dem.ri.gov. Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RhodeIslandDEM or on Twitter (@RhodeIslandDEM) for timely updates.