In the future, grant money could build new or improve existing playgrounds, trails, campgrounds, or other recreational opportunities in communities throughout Florida. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Florida Recreation Development Assistance Program (FRDAP) is accepting grant applications from local governments seeking to develop and/or acquire land for public outdoor recreational purposes. Submissions for the 2015-2016 FRDAP are only accepted between October 13 and October 31, 2014.
“These grants help provide opportunities for communities to expand and improve their local parks,” said Katy Fenton, DEP deputy secretary of land & recreation in a recent DEP press release. “We encourage local governmental entities to apply for FRDAP grants and help contribute to preserving Florida’s natural and cultural resources.”
Cities, towns, counties, and any other municipal governments responsible for providing public outdoor recreation qualify for FRDAP funds. Grant amounts are capped at $200,000 and projects requiring more than $50,000 to complete have a local match requirement. Applicants can meet the match requirement with cash, value of undeveloped land owned by the applicant and in-kind services.
A point system has been developed to determine a priority list for applications based on a number of factors. Seven points will be awarded to projects meeting the established priority resource list of facility need for the type of proposed project in the project’s region. Central Florida’s priority list includes:
- RV/Trailer Camping
- Baseball or Softball
- Outdoor Swimming Pool Use
- Nature Study
- Historical or Archeological Sites
- Outdoor Basketball
- Saltwater Beach Activities
- Soccer or Rugby
Points can be earned for holding public hearings about the proposed project that meet specific qualifications, having the capability to maintain and operate the project site, a park partnership, trail connectivity, meeting development and acquisition criteria, ability to provide acreage for the project, meeting trail and greenway requirements and whether the project will include mixed uses, the capital improvement plan, and where the project falls on a chart based on population densities.
Once the points have been applied to the grant applications and tabulated, the FRDAP can begin to allocate funds until all of the funds have been exhausted. For more information about the FRDAP grant program visit the Florida DEP Land and Recreation Grant Programs website.