The North Carolina Parks and Recreation Trust Fund (PARTF) is a state funded grant program for land acquisition and development of parks. PARTF is the primary source of funding to build and renovate facilities in the state parks as well as to buy land for new and existing parks. The PARTF program provides dollar-for-dollar grants to local governments. Recipients use the grants to acquire land and/or to develop park and recreational projects that serve the general public. The North Carolina Division of Parks and Recreation administers the program, RRS provides technical assistance to grantees and those applying for funding.

The Parks and Recreation Authority, a nine member board appointed by the Governor and the General Assembly selects the applicants who will receive a PARTF grant.

Grant Award Cycle
Applicants – Commonly Asked Questions
Land Acquisition Applicants – Commonly Asked Questions
Resources for Grantees
PARTF Impact

PARTF Grant Cycle

The 2016 – 2017 grant cycle is underway with applications due no later than 5:00 PM on Monday, May 1 2017.

RRS annually hosts a workshop on how to navigate the application and prepare the best possible project submission.

Schedule a time to discuss your project proposal with your RRS consultant.

Applicants – Commonly Asked Questions

What’s the secret to getting funded? 

Thoroughly plan you project through public input and carefully prepare your application.  Our best suggestion is to read and follow directions in the application.  If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact an RRS consultant to discuss the project. [PARTF Scoring System…]

If our agency has an active PARTF grant may we apply for a new grant?

Yes, the administrative rules do not preclude awarding a new grant to an agency that has an active grant.  However, facilities funded by each grant may not overlap.

When is the application available?

The PARTF application is available no later than October each year.

How do we get assistance with our application?

Please contact your RRS regional consultant to discuss your park project and get assistance with your application.

When are applications due?

5:00 PM on Monday, May 1, 2016.

When are grants selected?

The Parks and Recreation Authority meets once a year to award grants from the pool of eligible applicants for that year.  The meeting date is determined by when the state budget is finalized.

When can we reapply if the project is not funded?

Those projects not awarded grant funds at either cycle should talk with their regional RRS consultant to discuss ways to improve the project application.  They are eligible to submit an application for the following year’s grant cycle.

Land Acquisition Applicants – Commonly Asked Questions

Can the value of Land Donation be used as our match?

The Parks and Recreation Authority, in order to encourage donation of park land by private citizens, does allow the value of donated land to be used as part of the local match for the development portion of the grant project.  Partial donation (sale of property at less than appraised value) is also eligible as local match.  Strict rules and procedures are in place for this process.

How do we apply if land donation is involved?

Your PARTF application must be for acquisition and development.  Even if you are not purchasing the property, you are acquiring it through donation and must follow all of the requirements for acquisition listed in the application (i.e. appraisals, survey of metes & bounds, history of conveyance).

When can the land acquisition (by purchase or donation) take place?

Acquisition should take place after the grant is awarded and project contracts are signed: the start of the project period.  If the landowner has a need to sell or donate the property prior to that time, the applicant may request a waiver.

What is the waiver process?

Please contact your RRS consultant to discuss the project and reasons for the need to take title prior to a grant being awarded.  Your consultant will provide information you need to submit to request a waiver from the Parks and Recreation Authority.

What if the property donation or purchase has already occurred?

If the applicant already has title to the property, the value of the donation is not eligible as local match.  You may still apply for development on the site, matching the grant amount dollar for dollar.  Similarly, the purchase amount of property already deeded to the applicant is not an eligible PARTF expense.

Resources for Grantees

The NC Division of Parks and Recreation has composed a Grant Manual for Local Governments which will guide grantees through the program components that require documentation (financial administration, accounting procedures, grantee responsibilities).

Recreation Resources Service provides technical assistance to grantees from project award to project closeout. You will be submitting your reimbursement claims and documentation to your RRS regional consultant. Your RRS consultant is your first point of contact for questions and help.

We’re funded, when can we start?

You may not begin to work on any part of the project outlined in your application until all grant contracts are signed and the project period listed on the grant contract has begun.  Any work completed prior to the start of the project period will be an ineligible grant expense (not reimbursable).

PARTF Impact

The Parks and Recreation Trust Fund has provided more than $175 million, through 785 matching grants to local governments for parks and recreation projects since 1995. Trust fund grants have been awarded in all of the states 100 counties, 395 local governments have received an award. Local governments have proposed 1,485 projects totaling over $900 million. PARTF has only been able to fund about one half of these projects.

The North Carolina Recreation and Park Association provides advocacy tools to educate audiences about the importance of parks and recreation.