Parks and Natural Areas Funding Opportunities

H-GAC provides this list of regional, state, federal, and private funding sources for improving and maintaining parks for information and convenience for parks managers.

These are annual grant programs. Some due dates have passed but may be anticipated around this time every year.

Other agencies, including Keep Texas Beautiful and National Recreation and Park Association, provide grant opportunities and resources.

All content, including links to other websites, is for informational purposes only. Users of this content are responsible for checking its accuracy, currency, and suitability.

Federal Programs

North American Wetlands Conservation Act Standard Grant
Provides funds to conserve wetlands and wetlands-dependent fish and wildlife through acquisition (including easements and land title donations), restoration and/or enhancement.
Offered By U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Eligible Entities All applicants, including partners, must be eligible to participate in federal grant programs.
Total Program Funding $40,000,000 annually
Max-Min Award per Project $100,001 - $1,000,0000
Match 50%
Application Due Date February and July each year 
North American Wetlands Conservation Act Small Grant
Provides funds to conserve wetlands and wetlands-dependent fish and wildlife through acquisition (including easements and land title donations), restoration and/or enhancement.
Offered By U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Eligible Entities All applicants, including partners, must be eligible to participate in federal grant programs.
Total Program Funding $40,000,000 annually
Max-Min Award per Project $100,000 maximum award
Match 50%
Application Due Date October each year 
Community Facilities Grant Program
Provides affordable funding to develop essential community facilities in rural areas.
Offered By U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development
Eligible Entities Public bodies, community-based nonprofits, federally recognized tribes
Total Program Funding Dependent on funding requests
Max-Min Award per Project Dependent on population and median income in project area
Match 15% – 75%, depending on population and median household income
Application Due Date Rolling

State Programs

Local Park Grant Program: Small Community (Eligible Population 2010 Census < 20,000)
Assists eligible entities from communities with a population of 20,000 or less with the acquisition and/or development of public recreation areas and facilities throughout Texas.
Offered By Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD)
Eligible Entities Local governments, river authorities, municipal utility districts (MUDs), other special districts
Total Program Funding $750,000
Max-Min Award per Project $150,000 maximum award
Match 50%
Application Due Date November each year 
Local Park Grant Program: Non-Urban Indoor/Outdoor Recreation (Eligible Population 2010 Census < 500,000)
Assists eligible entities from non-urban communities with a population of 500,000 or less with the acquisition and/or development of public recreation areas and facilities throughout Texas.
Offered By Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD)
Eligible Entities Local governments, river authorities, municipal utility districts (MUDs), other special districts
Total Program Funding $2,000,000
Max-Min Award per Project $750,000 maximum award
Match 50%
Application Due Date November each year 
Local Park Grant Program: Urban Indoor/Outdoor Recreation (Eligible Population 2010 Census > 500,000)
Assists eligible entities from urban communities with a population of 500,000 or more with the acquisition and/or development of public recreation areas and facilities throughout the State of Texas.
Offered By Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD)
Eligible Entities Local governments, river authorities, municipal utility districts (MUDs), other special districts
Total Program Funding $4,000,000
Max-Min Award per Project $1,500,000 maximum award
Match 50%
Application Due Date November each year
Community Outdoor Outreach Program (Co-Op)
Provides reimbursement grants for programming that introduces under-served populations to environmental and conservation programs. Eligible expenses can include personnel, food, travel expenses, participant liability insurance, entrance fees, outdoor recreation equipment, and environmental education supplies..
Offered By Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD)
Eligible Entities Non-traditional constituents to TPWD related outdoor recreation, conservation, and environmental education programs; local governments; tax exempt organizations
Total Program Funding $1,500,000
Max-Min Award per Project $30,000 maximum award
Match N/A
Application Due Date November each year
Recreational Trails Fund
Provides funding for motorized and non-motorized recreational trail projects such as the construction of new recreational trails, to improve existing trails, to develop trailheads or trailside facilities, and to acquire trail corridors. Funding is provided on a cost reimbursement basis.
Offered By Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD)
Eligible Entities Local governments, river authorities, municipal utility districts (MUDs), other special districts, federal land managers, nonprofits
Total Program Funding $3,900,000
Max-Min Award per Project $200,000 maximum for nonmotorized trails and $400,000 maximum for motorized trails
Match Reimbursement grants up to 80%
Application Due Date February each year
Boating Access Grants
Provides reimbursement grants for the development of boat launching facilities, including land acquisition, ramps, boat lifts, signage, restrooms, parking areas, etc.
Offered By Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD)
Eligible Entities Local, state, and federal governments
Total Program Funding $2,200,000
Max-Min Award per Project $500,000 maximum award
Match 25%
Application Due Date February each year
Conservation Grant Funding (Birding)
Provides conservation funding for nature tourism and avian habitat restoration, enhancement, and acquisition projects.
Offered By Texas Parks and Wildlife (TPWD) Great Texas Birding Classic
Eligible Entities Local, state, and federal governments, nonprofits, tribes, community groups
Total Program Funding Dependent on team registration fees and corporate sponsorship dollars each year
Max-Min Award per Project $1,000 – $20,000
Match Not required, but encouraged
Application Due Date May each year
Texas Capital Fund: Planning and Capacity Building Fund (PCB)
Provides financial assistance to prepare a comprehensive plan or any of its components.
Offered By Texas Department of Agriculture
Eligible Entities Non-entitlement cities and counties with a need for comprehensive or targeted planning
Total Program Funding $600,000
Max-Min Award per Project $55,000 maximum award
Match 5% – 20%; See the link for detailed match requirement information
Application Due Date Fall each year
Texas Preservation Trust Fund - Pending Budget Reductions Program May Be Unavailable
Provides reimbursement grants for preservation projects, including restoration work, preservation planning, architectural planning, and/or heritage education training.
Offered By Texas Historical Commission
Eligible Entities Public or private entities who either own the project or whose purpose includes historic preservation
Total Program Funding See detailed funding award information in link
Max-Min Award per Project See detailed funding award information in link
Match 50%
Application Due Date Spring each year

Regional Programs

Community Development Partnership Program (CDPP)
Funds capital improvement projects including energy efficiency and water conservation, education, volunteer fire departments, and public safety organizations impacted by wildfires and extreme drought conditions. Projects must be in LCRA's service area.
Offered By Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA)
Eligible Entities Local governments, school districts, emergency medical services, volunteer fire departments, libraries, civic groups, nonprofits
Total Program Funding $1,000,000
Max-Min Award per Project $50,000 maximum award
Match 20%
Application Due Date January and July each year

Private Programs

Stronger Region
Supports capital improvement, research, public policy, public engagement, general operating support, and capacity building projects that strengthen the capacity and resiliency of greater Houston.
Offered By Houston Endowment
Eligible Entities Harris County and its contiguous counties (Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Liberty, Montgomery, and Waller counties), nonprofits
Total Program Funding N/A
Max-Min Award per Project N/A
Match None
Application Due Date Rolling
Open Grants Program
Funds projects promoting arts and culture, community improvement/enrichment, and healthy families. Preference is given to projects and project sponsors in Entergy service area, including Chambers, Liberty, Montgomery, and Walker counties.
Offered By Entergy
Eligible Entities State, county and local governments, schools, hospitals, nonprofit religious institutions, volunteer fire departments, nonprofits
Total Program Funding N/A
Max-Min Award per Project None
Match None
Application Due Date Rolling
Kaboom! Grants Program
Promotes development of outdoor playgrounds.
Offered By Kaboom!
Eligible Entities City and county governments, schools, child-serving nonprofits, particularly in the Houston area
Total Program Funding N/A
Max-Min Award per Project Varies per program
Match Varies per program
Application Due Date Varies per program
Shade Structure Grant Program
Funds the installation of permanent shade structures to cover outdoor areas not protected from the sun, such as playgrounds, pools or recreation spaces.
Offered By American Academy of Dermatology
Eligible Entities Public schools, nonprofits
Total Program Funding N/A
Max-Min Award per Project $8,000 maximum award
Match None
Application Due Date December each year
Skatepark Grants
Promotes building new, high quality, public skateparks in low-income areas throughout the United States.
Offered By Skate Park Project
Eligible Entities State and local agencies, nonprofits
Total Program Funding N/A
Max-Min Award per Project $1,000 – $25,000
Match None
Application Due Date January and August each year
Union Pacific Community-based Grant Program

Assists community-based organizations and related activities that improve and enrich the general quality of life in community spaces. This category creating, sustaining, or expanding on artistic and cultural experiences; preserving and sharing unique history; providing clean, safe, and positive outdoor recreation or education opportunities; beautifying neighborhoods and main street areas; and planning for, creating, or enhancing unique spaces.

Offered By Union Pacific Foundation
Eligible Entities Nonprofits in communities served by Union Pacific Railroad
Total Program Funding N/A
Max-Min Award per Project N/A
Match N/A
Application Due Date May each year