The Office of Outdoor Recreation’s Utah Outdoor Recreation Grant was created to help build tourism in communities around the state with the construction and expansion of outdoor recreation amenities. The new trails and other outdoor recreational opportunities aid in local economic development. Many communities find that having nearby recreation opportunities adds to the quality of life of local citizens, helping to attract new residents, and can lead to an increase in local property values. Businesses, especially high-tech firms, consider having nearby outdoor recreation amenities as “absolutely vital” in attracting and keeping high value employees.

The Utah Outdoor Recreation Grant (UORG) is expanding in 2018 with additional funding from the Transient Room Tax (TRT). Communities and non-profits that are considering to apply should connect with their local tourism director as there will be an increased emphasis on a project’s potential to increase visitation to the area. A letter of support from the local tourism office will be highly recommended for a strong application. In 2018, the Utah Office of Outdoor Recreation plans to increase the value of the grant awards for larger projects.

Learn More

Purpose

The project will enhance recreational opportunities and amenities in Utah’s communities

Grant Size

In 2018, award amounts will range from a minimum of $5,000 up to a maximum of $150,000.

Grant Period Open

The 2018 UORG application cycle has closed. The next UORG cycle will be open early 2019. Make sure to sign-up for Utah Talks Outdoors at the bottom of the page for e-mail alerts and updates on the grant and our office.

General Eligibility Requirements

Local or tribal governments or non-profits may apply. The built recreational infrastructure must provide an economic opportunity for the local area with the ability to attract or retain residents and/or increase the visitation to the region.

Guidelines

The 2018 UORG Program Guide booklet is a great resource to download and review to get ready to apply.

Grant Application Deadline

Thursday, April 19, 2018 by 5 pm MST

Early Application Deadline

(if you want your submission checked for any missing documents or information–content will not be graded): April 5, 2018 5 pm MST

Match Component

Given as a 50/50 match. Up to 25 percent of total may be an in-kind match.

Contract/Reporting Requirements

Project must be complete within 24 months of date the contract is signed. Funding is given after the applicant’s spend. Up to 75 percent of the matched monies may be given before completion of project. Final funding contingent upon inspection of completed project.

Utah Outdoor Recreation Grant Stats

Past Grant Recipients

The Utah Outdoor Recreation Grant provided funding for 14 outdoor recreation infrastructure projects across the state in 2017. In our 2016 cycle, the office awarded 15 outdoor recreation infrastructure projects as well as 16 outdoor youth programs. The pilot program was able to provide 19 communities in Utah with some matching funding to construct outdoor recreation infrastructure in late 2015.

This website provides more information about the 2016 Utah Outdoor Recreation Grant. Click on the different tabs to see the grant locations on a map.

Congratulations to the 2017 Utah Outdoor Recreation Grant Program Recipients!

2017 Utah Outdoor Recreation Grant Infrastructure Projects:

2016 Utah Outdoor Recreation Grant Infrastructure Projects:

2016 Outdoor Recreation Youth Programs Grants:

The 2015 Pilot Program of the Utah Outdoor Recreation Grant (formerly known as “Waypoint“) recipients:

FAQs

Questions? We’ve got answers. Here’s a selection of Frequently Asked Questions in response to inquiries on policies and specific aspects of the grant process for both grant programs.

If you have questions that aren’t answered below, please contact us by email and we will answer those questions by email and also add them to the FAQs page as well. Contact Tara McKee (tmckee@utah.gov) or Rose Smith (rosesmith@utah.gov) with your questions about the Utah Outdoor Recreation Grant and the 2017 application cycle.

Who can apply?

Municipalities, county governments, tribal governments or non-profit organizations that meet Utah code requirements are all eligible to apply for a Utah Outdoor Recreation Grant.

How much grant funding can we apply for?

Various amounts of awards for grants are offered and will be given as matching funds between $5,000 and $150,000 in 2018.

The larger grants will be more competitive as fewer of them will be given. If your project does not score high enough to receive the larger one, you may have your project considered for a smaller award if you so signify. For example, if you applied for $50,000 in grant funding, but your project scored lower than the winning project, you may wish to be considered for a lesser amount, say $35,000 in this example. We understand that a delta of $15,000 in such a case may be difficult for some communities or non-profits to afford, so it will not be done automatically. Please note that all decisions regarding funding will be done at the discretion of the review committees.

Our city has a couple great infrastructure projects we’d like to do. Can we send in more than one application?

Yes, but the review committees will be factoring in the geographic diversity of all grant projects. It is highly unlikely that the review committees will choose more than one infrastructure project from the same entity for the Utah Outdoor Recreation Grant. If your organization plans on submitting more than one application, please prioritize which one you would like to see funded among all the rest.

What is the timeline for the 2018 grants? When will the decision be made?

2018 Utah Outdoor Recreation Grant Timeline
Grant Application Cycle Opens March 1, 2018
Deadline for all Applications Thursday, April 19, at 5 pm MST
Grant Review Process (2 committees) May-July
Applicants should receive notification if they have received a favorable review. Those with a favorable review will be forwarded to the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) board for final approval and recommendation of funding End of July
Final Funding Approval to be given by GOED Board  August
Contracts sent to entities that will receive grants November/December


Our project is a large one and the final costs will be quite high. Can we apply to receive a second grant the following year or later to help us finish our project?

The legislative intent of the grant funds is to provide funding to projects that will be completed. The ability to demonstrate a project is truly ready and will be completed as specified in your application is required. A possible exception would be a project for a trail segment within a large trail project with a long-term master plan. The trail segment that has been funded by our grant must be completed, accessible to the public, and able to be used on its own before an organization could apply for additional funding from the Utah Outdoor Recreation Grant to build another trail segment within a large trail system.

Also, you may wish to note that much more funding will be available beginning in 2018, and make all the necessary preparation now to put together a very competitive grant proposal for next year.

We’ve never done a grant before. Can we get some help?

Of course! We’d like to make available to all of you some resources that will help you in the process of filling out the grant applications:

  • Several grant workshops will be held across the state in February. Click here for more details and locations.
  • An online webinar that will walk applicants through the grant application will be scheduled in February. The online webinar will have a different focus than the grant workshops in that it will be more of an overview and the grant workshops will cover eligibility and matching funding issues, project planning and give a detailed look at the application. Questions from attendees will be answered.
  • The downloadable 2017 Program Guide should provide plenty of information as to which projects and programs would qualify for a grant, and provide tips that will help the applicant with the grant application (the updated 2018 version will be available soon).
  • If you have a question about the eligibility of your project or a similar question, email us and we will answer your questions in both an email and also on this this page so that  it will be visible to the public.

When do we get our funding?

The Outdoor Recreation Grant for infrastructure projects will be given as a post-completion reimbursement. Project must be complete within 24 months of date the contract is signed. Funding is given after the applicant’s spend. Up to 75% of the matched monies may be given before completion of project. Once all necessary documentation has been submitted, you can expect to receive the funding within 2-3 weeks. The final funding will be contingent upon inspection of the completed project.

What are the key criteria for how projects are evaluated?

The grant applications have sections that have been given scoring values to allow fair evaluations. The infrastructure grants will be evaluated for: project readiness and a feasible schedule, community need, whether the project will have beneficial economic impacts, recreation value, improved physical and recreational access, budget and project costs as well as some special considerations for area deficiencies. The youth program grants will be evaluated for: outside activities, long-term impacts, community impacts, public access, project timeline, budget and program costs as well as for special considerations for regional deficiencies or for under-served populations. Prioritization matrix scoring sheets will be used by the reviewers and are available for the public’s view on our webpage.

Since we are a city who will be building and maintaining this infrastructure on our own property and are under the City and not County jurisdiction for such projects, must we have county approval and endorsement in order to apply,  or would the City’s endorsement be OK to substitute in place of the county?

Since you are under your City and not County jurisdiction for such projects, yes, in your case, it would be okay to get the City’s endorsement in lieu of the County’s endorsement.

Can we apply for funding for a Pickleball Court? Or Rodeo Grounds? Or Fairgrounds? Or soccer fields?

The Utah Outdoor Recreation Grants are meant to fund outdoor recreation amenities and we’ve had to draw a line between outdoor recreational activities and recreational sports (the latter of which do not fall under the jurisdiction of the Office of Outdoor Recreation).  Sports courts,  athletic fields, rodeo grounds and fairgrounds and  are ineligible infrastructure for the Utah Outdoor Recreation Grant.

The online application for infrastructure projects asks for two attachments that prove the project readiness, what exactly needs to be attached here?

There can be several documents that show project readiness such as permits, conceptual drawings or engineered plans, environmental documentation, even documentation as to the status of pending permits is helpful. Submit whatever you have along those lines that is pertinent to your project.  On the list of attachments, you  are asked to provide two maps, one location map showing where it is located in the community and one recreation site map (or conceptual drawing) of the project site. For a checklist of required attachments, click here.

Resources

_Program Manager

Tara McKee

801-538-8686 tmckee@utah.gov

_Program Specialist

Rose Smith

801-538-8652 rosesmith@utah.gov

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