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Parks & Public Space Initiative

Scissortail Park, Oklahoma City

Parks & Public Space Initiative/Margaret Annis Boys Trust

The Parks & Public Space Initiative supports the beautification, development and activation of neighborhood/community parks, school parks, trails and other public lands. This initiative grew out of the Margaret Annis Boys Trust, which was established through a gift from Miss Boys’ estate in 1991 to support and encourage landscaping and beautification projects in parks, medians and other public lands in Oklahoma City. Grant awards will vary depending on the size and complexity of the project. In addition to funding, Oklahoma City Community Foundation staff will provide project expertise.

Application Process

  1. Contact Lanc Gross at (405) 606-2957 or [email protected], to discuss your proposed project no later than 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, June 3, 2024. This will ensure that your proposal will meet the guidelines.
  2. Check with your local municipality to see if you need permission or an agreement to make improvements within a city park or city right-of-way. This must be completed prior to applying. Contact numbers are listed within the grant guidelines.
  3. Submit a Letter of Intent (LOI).
    To gain access to the official application, all potential applicants must complete an online LOI form no later than 5:00 p.m. on Friday, June 14, 2024.
  4. Submit an application.
    The LOI, application and follow-up reports (if awarded) will be handled through the same online platform.

Log-In Instructions:

    1. Log in.
    2. Select the “Apply” icon in the top left.
    3. Input the access code PARKS24.

Important Dates

  • Grant Application Opens: Monday, May 6, 2024
  • Grant Information Meeting: 3 p.m. on Tuesday, May 21, 2024
  • Letter of Interest (LOI) Deadline: 5 p.m. on Friday, June 14, 2024
  • Grant Application Deadline: 5 p.m. on Friday, June 21, 2024
  • Decision Notification Timeline: End of August 2024

About the Grant

Overview
The Parks & Public Space Initiative supports the beautification, development and activation of neighborhood/community parks, school parks, trails and other public lands. This initiative grew out of the Margaret Annis Boys Trust, which was established through a gift from Miss Boys’ estate in 1991 to support and encourage landscaping and beautification projects in parks, medians and other public lands in Oklahoma City. Grant awards will vary depending on the size and complexity of the project. In addition to funding, Oklahoma City Community Foundation staff will provide project expertise.
Goals & Objectives
  1. To increase utilization of neighborhood parks, neighborhood school parks, trails and other spaces open to the public for recreation, cultural and health improvement.
  2. To engage community groups, neighborhoods, corporations, municipalities and other nonprofit organizations in improving our neighborhood parks, school parks and trails and the programs that are in them.
  3. To increase community stewardship of parks, school parks, trails and public spaces.
Who Is Eligible to Apply?
  • Neighborhood/community groups connected to parks, school parks, trails and other public spaces in Oklahoma County.
  • Any 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization providing direct services and that has a governing board based in Oklahoma County.
  • Local government agencies or state and city-connected agencies.
Grant Funding Goals
  • Encourage landscaping and beautification projects in public community spaces including neighborhood/community parks, school parks, trails, public medians and other public lands in central Oklahoma.
  • Items eligible for funding include plant material such as trees, shrubs and perennials, soil amendments, mulch and irrigation. Landscape amenities such as shade structures, benches and information signage may be eligible.  Master plans and tree canopy studies for public spaces with collaborative partners will be considered.
  • Increase utilization of public spaces that are open and accessible to citizens for recreation, cultural and health improvement.
  • Engage community groups, neighborhoods, businesses, and other nonprofit organizations to improve our public community spaces.
  • Increase community awareness, involvement, and stewardship of our public community spaces.
Application Process
  • Contact Lanc Gross at (405) 606-2957 or [email protected], to discuss your proposed project.
  • Submit a Letter of Intent by June 14, 2024, via an online process to ensure your project is within the scope of the Parks Initiative Grant criteria.
  • After the LOI is submitted and approved, the applicant will be invited to apply.
Grant Project Narrative, Budget, Evaluation & Reporting

The grant application includes specific questions including:

  • Description of the project for which funding support is requested; is this project new or an expansion of an existing project/program?
  • Statement for the need for the project
    Description and number of participants of who will utilize the space
  • Timeline for implementation

An accurate and detailed budget must be submitted including an itemized list of all the components for the project. If the project is multi-phased, the submission must identify which item is included in each phase. Please indicate how you plan to sustain the project beyond the initial grant funding.

The proposal must include a match amount from the applicant. Future landscape maintenance expenses for the project are not considered for the match. Match amounts vary depending on the grant request and the complexity of the project.
A project/program evaluation or outcome measurement plan will be required. Applicants will need to demonstrate an evaluation component that reviews the success of the projects/programs and ensures continued maintenance and sustainability. Evidence of activation will be required.

Grantees will be required to submit evaluation reports via an online process for one (1) year after the award has been made or until the funded program/project is completed.

Priorities and Requirements for Considering Funding
  • Existing neighborhood/community parks, school parks, trails, public medians and other open and accessible public properties will be the primary focus area for implementation of approved projects.
  • The majority of Parks and Public Space Initiative grants are infrastructure and support activities or programs.
  • Projects must be completed within a year after funding notification. All proposed projects must be open and accessible to the public during reasonable usage hours.
  • All proposed projects must be located within the Greater Oklahoma City area.
    The proposed project must provide documentation of approval by the government entity directly responsible for the management and oversight of the project.
  • Neighborhood streetscapes are a low priority for grant funding.
  • A comprehensive site plan of the proposed project must be included with the grant application. The application must include current and future phases of the project if multi-phased. It can be professionally prepared or presented as a graphic over a Google Earth image.
  • A significant volunteer component is required for each grant proposal. The volunteer group must share an active role in the planning, implementation and ongoing maintenance of the project.
  • A realistic location, installation and maintenance plan with identified responsibilities and budget must be submitted to ensure the project’s sustainability. Tree plantings typically require a three-year maintenance plan to ensure establishment.
  • Proposed grant requests supporting bond issue and other publicly funded projects will be considered on a case-by-case basis. There must be strong evidence that the project is ready to move forward immediately and that the Parks Initiative grant portion will play a significant role in the overall success and impact of the project.

NOTE: All physical improvement plans are subject to city regulations and all applicable permits. In some cases approved projects may require more public involvement, possibly including: Oklahoma City Council support, Planning Department approval, Parks Commission approval, school board approval, etc. If a project is accepted, the goal of the City Community Foundation is to help with this process. However, the responsibility for this process lies with the funded organization. All awards are contingent upon approval by appropriate government entities.

Grant Deadline & Notification

Please see above for the application deadline to submit all grant application materials. The grant application will be reviewed by a committee and funding recommendations forwarded to the board of Trustees.

Reporting

Grantees will be required to submit evaluation reports via an online process for one (1) year after the award has been made or until the funded program/project is completed.

Questions & Clarifications

Please submit any questions or a need for clarification on any aspect of the application requirements to [email protected] and note in the subject line “Parks Initiative Grant Application.” Replies will be provided in a timely manner during the workweek. Questions will not be answered after the deadline.

Recent Grants

Blessed Stanley Rother Shrine – $13,600 to plant 34 trees to beautify the entrance to the church grounds.

City of Midwest City – $35,600 to plant 18 trees along park trails in five different city parks and install 10 park benches near the new trees.

Metro Technology Centers – $16,060 to plant shade trees adjacent to new walking trails.

Mount St. Mary Catholic High School – $8,800 to plant 10 trees and install irrigation along the perimeter of the school grounds.

Nichols Hills Enterprise Elementary PTA – $32,750 for irrigation and landscaping upgrades for the school along Wilshire Boulevard.

Nichols Hills Parks, Inc. – $16,560 to replace dead or damaged trees and landscaping for the central bed in Kite Parks.

Nova Community Homeowners Association – $20,521 to landscape the W Hefner Road neighborhood frontage with new shrubs and small trees.

OKC Beautiful – $10,000 to plant 50 trees on the campuses of Oklahoma City Schools, along with providing educational material on the importance of trees.

Western Avenue Association – $18,440 to install new irrigation, shrubs, and trees within the street medians along Western Avenue at I-44.

Asian District Cultural Association – $3,000 – To plant 12 new trees and improve the health of existing trees in Military Park.

Camp Fire Heart of Oklahoma – $8,500 – To establish a native wildflower and pollinator garden.

City of Del City – $6,000 – For Oklahoma native landscaping at their Welcome to Del City entrance signs.

City of Yukon – $15,000 – To support the Yukon Trails & Parks Tree Canopy Project, which is creating a more inviting and user-friendly trail system and helping to improve air quality for the community.

Edgemere Park Preservation, Inc. – $8,000 – To install two shade structures in Edgemere Park to help activate the park year-round.

First Serve OKC Foundation – $4,000 – To install a new shade structure next to the tennis courts at Pitts Park in Northeast OKC.

Friends of Will Rogers Gardens Foundation – $8,000 – To complete the final two shade structures in their Memory Garden.

Historical Preservation, Inc. – $6,000 – To replace dead and dying trees in Harn Park and on medians in the Heritage Hills neighborhood.

Lakehurst Homeowners Association – $10,000 – To remove storm-damaged trees and bushes along the neighborhood’s right-of-way.

Lillian Timber Farms – $9,000 – To plant six new fruit trees as a shade and healthy food source in the neighborhood’s community garden.

Love Grow Live Center, Inc. – $8,500 – To purchase planting materials to support their revitalization efforts at Diggs Park.

Miller Neighborhood Association – $5,200 – To plant new trees along the neighborhood’s medians along Northwest 12th and Miller.

Myriad Gardens Foundation – $15,000 – To support their efforts to enlarge and revitalize their mixed border beds along Sheridan Ave.

NewView Oklahoma Inc. – $19,000 – To help develop the NewView Walking Path, Garden & Wellness Space for people with low vision.

Olde Capitol Hill Council, Inc. – $20,000 – To purchase indigenous plants and materials to update the community’s flowerbeds.

Portland Avenue Baptist Church – $9,350 – To replace 22 storm-damaged trees in public spaces around their campus.

Putnam Heights Preservation Area – $10,500 – To improve landscaping and irrigation to help create a traffic-calming effect in a highly trafficked intersection.

Scissortail Park Foundation – $25,000 – To install perennial wildflowers and native grasses on the park’s Mexican feather grass hill.

Thompson Woodland Burr Oaks Neighborhood – $13,000 – For new plant materials to enhance Woodland Park’s landscaping.

 

 

Harrah Friends of the Park Foundation – $4,315 – To enhance Lions Park with wildflowers, trees and shrubs to attract pollinators and wildlife as well as create a story walk to educate the public on the nature of the park.

Linwood Place Neighborhood Association – $4,703 – To add trees, a community message board and landscaping to Wayman’s Park.

Midway Village Neighborhood Watch Association – $8,000 – To plant new trees in Townsend Park to create a sun and wind screen to help make the park more usable year-round.

Myriad Gardens Foundation – $2,750 – To replace weather-damaged trees at the Myriad Gardens.

OKC Beautiful – $8,000 – To provide plant materials to groups participating in Adopt-A-Park to enhance landscape beds in Oklahoma City parks.

Oklahoma Christian University – $15,000 – To support tree planting along Eagle Trail to add shade and make it more usable year-round.

Oklahoma City-County Historical Society – $10,000 – To plant trees and add benches to the new C.G. Jones Memorial Plaza being built along the Bricktown canal.

Putnam Heights Preservation Area – $4,000 – To plant additional trees along the medians and in the common areas in the Putnam Heights Historic Preservation District.

RestoreOKC – $25,200 – To plant trees and install seating at RestoreOKC’s campus along Harden Park.

Scissortail Park Foundation – $40,000 – To support improvements to their aquatic habitat and bird sanctuary at Scissortail Pond.

The Uncommon Ground Sculpture Park – $50,000 – To plant new trees, shrubs and gardens at the Uncommon Ground Sculpture Park in Edmond.

WesTen District – $2,000 – To replace five trees at Heartland Baptist Bible College to enhance the aesthetics of Northwest 10th Street.

YMCA of Greater Oklahoma City – $7,000 – To plant 15 new trees to provide shade and privacy at the Bethany YMCA.

How Can We Help You?

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Lanc Gross


Parks Program Manager

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Keaton Van Sickle


Programs Associate