2019 Safe Routes to Parks Activating Communities Program

woman and child

Communities are invited to apply for the 2019 Safe Routes to Parks Activating Communities program. Applications are due by 11:59 PM PT on December 10th, 2018.

Background

Children and adults in the United States are not getting enough physical activity, and our health and wellbeing are suffering as a result. But communities are working on many strategies to help – making it easier and safer to walk and bicycle, expanding access to parks, and more. One important place for collaboration and advocacy is making sure that people can safely walk and bicycle to parks – an approach known as Safe Routes to Parks. Often, those communities that are most at need, with the highest levels of traffic injuries and deaths and the greatest health disparities, have the lowest levels of safe access to local parks.

With generous funding from The JPB Foundation, the Safe Routes to Parks Activating Communities program is currently accepting applications for awards for eleven grantee communities in 2019, following our first year of awards in 2018. The Safe Routes to Parks Activating Communities program provides tailored technical assistance for eleven communities to develop Safe Routes to Parks action plans and awards $12,500 to each community to begin implementation of those plans. 

The Program

The Safe Routes to Parks action plans will be based upon the Safe Routes to Parks Action Framework, developed in 2017 through the collaborative efforts of the Safe Routes to School National Partnership and the National Recreation and Parks Association. The framework provides a structured process by which communities can increase safe and equitable access to their parks and green spaces. The framework includes four main areas of activity: 1) Assessment, 2) Planning, 3) Implementation, and 4) Sustainability, with each area heavily infused with proactive community engagement. Awarded communities’ action plans will address each stage of the Safe Routes to Parks Action Framework and provide clear steps to improve local park access for people walking, biking, and rolling.

Grantee communities will work closely with staff at the Safe Routes to School National Partnership from February through September 2019 to develop action plans aimed at improving safe, equitable access to local parks in their communities. Grantee communities will receive training, individualized consultation and technical assistance, connection with peer communities to learn from one another, an in-person workshop in their community, as well as grants of $12,500 each to begin the implementation of the Safe Routes to Parks action plan. At the end of the grant period, awarded communities will have a customized action plan to improve safe, equitable local park access that includes ideas for how to fund and sustain their efforts and will have implemented at least one action from the plan.

Eligibility and Expectations

Eligibility: Open to nonprofits nationwide (total of ten awards) plus an Oregon-specific program (total of one award).

Ten Awards: Applicants from nonprofit organizations nationwide that are tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code are eligible. The Safe Routes to School National Partnership will require organizations to provide IRS documentation of 501(c)(3) status to receive the award. 

One Oregon-Specific Award: With funding from the Oregon Health Authority’s DP 18-1803 Arthritis Grant, one rural, suburban, or urban community in Oregon will be funded in addition to the ten awardees. Nonprofit organizations and local governments are eligible for this Oregon-specific program, and the proposal should prioritize working to improve safe access to local parks for older adults and/or people with disabilities. Oregon nonprofits are also eligible for the ten awards funded by The JPB Foundation.

While grantees are permitted to focus implementation actions at a single park, Safe Routes to Parks planning must occur at a system or partial system level. Funding must be used to advance implementation of the Safe Routes to Parks plan and planning process, and shall not be used solely for salaries or contracted support. 

Other eligibility criteria include:

  • A commitment to advancing racial and social equity
  • Relationship with local government where the project is happening: Grantees will need to work with parks and transportation decisionmakers; existing relationships or a willingness to build strong relationships is necessary.

Expectations: The period of grant activities will be from February to September 2019. During that time, grantees will have monthly calls with National Partnership staff, attend virtual trainings with expert staff and peer communities, co-plan and co-host a local workshop/training with National Partnership staff (travel costs paid by National Partnership), develop an action plan, and implement at least one early action from the plan. Examples of how 2018 grantees began to implement their action plans can be found here.

Application

Applications must be submitted online using the Google application form. Once begun, the application form cannot be saved and opened again. We encourage you to view a PDF of the application form here, compose your answers in a word processor, and input them here when you are ready to submit. 

Click here to apply online.

Applications are due by 11:59 PM PT on December 10th, 2018. We anticipate announcing awards in late January. 

If you have any questions during the application process, please contact parks@saferoutespartnership.org.

The Safe Routes to School National Partnership is a national nonprofit that works to advance safe walking and bicycling to and from schools, to improve the health and wellbeing of kids of all races, income levels, and abilities, and to foster the creation of healthy communities for everyone.

Frequently Asked Questions

More questions and answers will be posted on this page throughout the current application period.

1. Who do I contact if I have any questions or need assistance?

Please send an email to parks@saferoutespartnership.org if you have any questions about the application or the Safe Routes to Parks Activating Communities program.

2. Is it possible to save and return to the application at a later time?

No, once you begin the application form, it cannot be saved and re-opened. We encourage you to view a PDF of the application form, compose your answers in a word processor, and input them into the application form when you are ready to submit.

3. How do I share supporting documents for the application?

Please send supporting documents such as letters of support, maps, print or web media, etc. to parks@saferoutespartnership.org. Be sure to include the organization’s name and staff contact in the email.

4. How will I know that you received my application?

An email confirmation will be sent to you upon receipt of your application. If you do not see an email within five minutes, please check your spam folder for a message from parks@saferoutespartnership.org.

5. What is the anticipated start date of assistance, if received? How long is the technical assistance expected to last?

Technical assistance will likely begin late January/early February through September 30, 2019. 

6. Is the consultation and technical assistance a requirement for the Safe Routes to Parks Activating Communities program?

Yes, as a part of the program, all grantee communities will participate in online group trainings with expert staff and peer communities and receive individualized consultation and technical assistance (including bi-weekly calls and an in-person local workshop/training with the National Partnership staff.). The National Partnership staff areas of expertise are:

  • Planning, Policies, and Programs (Please note we do not conduct engineering studies or plans.)
  • Education, Training, and Capacity Building
  • Research and Data Collection
  • Campaign Development
  • Funding for Sustainable Transportation
  • Community Engagement and Coalition Development.

We have found that the combination of the consultation/technical assistance and grant funds help communities create both short- and long-term improvements to safe local park access.

7. What can Safe Routes to Parks Activating Communities program grant funds be used for?

The grant of $12,500 must be used for the grantee community’s Safe Routes to Parks planning process and implementation activities. Grantees will be required to report onexpenditureof grant funds. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Hosting a greening/park cleanup day
  • Tactical urbanism pop-up/demonstration project for any of the construction/improvements listed below
  • Creating/improving wayfinding signage
  • Acquiring rights-of-way
  • Moving utility boxes/poles
  • Maintenance
  • Street design
    • Adding or improving physical infrastructure to support walking/biking to the park, including sidewalks, crosswalks, traffic calming, widened shoulders, upgrading crossings, bike lanes, signal timing, lighting etc.
    • Streetscaping improvements that promote physical comfort and aesthetic improvements to the route,including:shade trees, benches, water fountains, landscaping
    • Hosting events that build trust between neighborhood residents and law enforcement
    • Hosting a Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) training, incorporation of CPTED principles into design practices and plans
    • Anti-street harassment public service campaign
    • Developing a Safe Passages Program
    • Addressing dilapidated buildings/blight/dumping
8. What is the difference between the ten awards and the one Oregon-specific award?
 
The ten awards are open to nonprofits nationwide and one Oregon-specific award is open to nonprofits and public agencies in Oregon.
 
9. Is a local government agency eligible for the ten awards for the Safe Routes to Parks Activating Communities program? *Local governments in Oregon are eligible to apply for a special opportunity through the Oregon Health Authority – see question #10. 

No, only non-profits that are 501 (c)(3) tax-exempt are eligible for the ten awards. We know that relationships with local agencies (e.g., parks, planning, and transportation) are necessary for this work, therefore, additional consideration will be given to those with existing relationships or a willingness to build strong relationships with local agencies.

10. What is the Special Opportunity for Oregon communities? 

Special opportunity for organizations and communities in Oregon: With funding from the Oregon Health Authority’s DP 18-1803 Arthritis Grant, one rural, suburban, or urban community in Oregon will be funded in addition to the ten awardees. Nonprofit organizations and local governments are eligible for this Oregon-specific program, and the proposal should prioritize working to improve safe access to local parks for older adults and/or people with disabilities. Oregon nonprofits are also eligible for the ten awards funded by The JPB Foundation.

11. How many communities will be selected for this round? Can a 2018 grantee apply again?

In total, eleven communities will be selected (including tribal), with at least one in Oregon. A 2018 grantee recipient cannot apply again.

12. Are there specific outcomes or reporting that are expected as part of this program?

Yes, each grantee community is expected to develop a customized action plan to improve safe, equitable local park access that includes ideas for how to fund and sustain their efforts and implement at least one action from the plan. Our expert staff will support you to develop these plans. It is our hope that your organization will use this resource to continue improving safe, equitable park access in your community. In addition, grantees are expected to complete a brief final report at the end of the grant.

13. Can this award be combined with existing funding our organization has?

Yes, we encourage you to leverage your resources to improve safe, equitable local park access by combining this award with existing funding.

14. Are there any key dates I should have on my calendar if I receive this award?

Yes, please save Wednesday, February 13 from 2:00-3:30 p.m. ET (Group Orientation) and Tuesday, February 26 from 2:00-3:30 p.m. ET (Equity Training).