The Office of Outdoor Recreation’s Utah Outdoor Recreation Grant was created to help Utah communities build recreational infrastructure that provides low-cost opportunities to be active outdoors. 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) expanded in 2018 with additional funding from the State’s Transient Room Tax (TRT). Communities and non-profits considering applying 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 is highly recommended for a strong application. In 2019, the Utah Office of Outdoor Recreation increased the value of the grant awards for larger projects.
The project will enhance recreational opportunities and amenities in Utah’s communities
In 2020, UORG award amounts will range from $1,000-$150,000.
The 2020 UORG cycle will be open from January 15 to March 20, 2020. Make sure to sign-up for Utah Outdoors at the bottom of the page to receive email alerts and updates about the grant and our office.
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 increase visitation, boost local businesses and/or attract and retain residents.
The 2019 UORG Program Guide booklet is a great resource to review to get ready to apply. The 2020 version will be uploaded before grant workshops begin in November 2019.
Friday, March 20, 2020 by 5 p.m. Mountain Time.
Early applications are due March 6, 2020.
Given as a 50/50 match. Up to 25 percent of the total match may be an in-kind match. Information regarding the 2019 cycle can be found here. The 2020 Program Guide is coming soon.
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. Grant recipients will need to provide a project progress report twice a year until completion. Final funding contingent upon inspection of the completed project.
The 2019 Utah Outdoor Recreation Grant cycle awarded funding to 55 infrastructure projects throughout the state! This 2019 cycle awarded $4.3 million with amounts ranging from $1,350 to $150,000 in matching funding per project. The complete list of all UORG funded projects from 2015-2019 is below. To see all of the Utah Outdoor Recreation Grant projects mapped and summarized, check out our map.
2019 Utah Outdoor Recreation Grant Infrastructure Projects
2018 Utah Outdoor Recreation Grant Infrastructure Projects:
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:
We’ve got answers. Here’s a selection of Frequently Asked Questions in response to inquiries on policies and specific aspects of our grant programs.
If you have questions that aren’t answered below, please email us. We will answer your questions by email and add them to this page as well. Contact Tara McKee (firstname.lastname@example.org) or India Nielsen (email@example.com) with questions about the grants.
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 $4,000 and $150,000 in 2019. 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 of 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.
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 2020, 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:
When do we get our funding? The Outdoor Recreation Grant for infrastructure projects will be given as a post-completion reimbursement. Projects must be completed within 24 months of the date the contract is signed. Funding is given after the applicant’s spend. Up to 75% of the matched monies may be given before the completion of the 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 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 are 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.
Southern & Eastern Utah, November 4-8
Northern & Central Utah, November 12-15