Gov. McKee announces availability of $4 million outdoor recreation grant funding

Governor Dan McKee and the Department of Environmental Management (DEM) announce today that $4 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 grant round is now open, with a deadline of Dec. 17, 2021. Funding provided through the 2021 Beach, Clean Water and Green Bond – which Rhode Island voters approved by a margin of almost 80 percent last March – is capitalizing the grants.

Since the inception of DEM’s community recreation grant program in 1988, 541 grants have been awarded and more than $85 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.

“Access to green space and clean, functional recreation facilities improves health, promotes stronger social ties, and enhances neighborhood satisfaction and pride,” said Governor McKee. “Our network of bikeways, open spaces, and other recreational assets help attract people and businesses to Rhode Island.”

Recreation acquisition grants require a 50 percent match and are capped at $400,000. Applicants are encouraged to review the grant instructions available at Scoring criteria is established by the State Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP). Well-planned, well-described projects in urban, distressed, and environmental justice areas will score particularly well.  As part of a larger network of recreational opportunities in the state, municipal facilities play an important role in beautifying communities, supporting public health, strengthening climate resilience, and promoting a cleaner environment.

A virtual pre-application workshop is scheduled in October. Details below:

Topic: RI Outdoor Recreation Grant Round 2022

Time: Oct. 20, 2021 10 AM


Meeting ID: 394 759 4847 – Call in number: 1-929-205-6099

Electronic applications are encouraged and should be forwarded to Lisa McGreavy in DEM’s Division of Planning and Development at by 3 PM on Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2021. Proposals and supporting materials also may be mailed to Ms. McGreavy’s attention at DEM, Division of Planning and Development, 235 Promenade Street, Providence, RI 02908. Rhode Island municipalities and recognized Native American tribes are eligible to apply.

DEM’s GreenSpace 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.


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