Urban Park and Recreation Recovery Program


To provide Federal grants to local governments for the rehabilitation of recreation areas and facilities, demonstration of innovative approaches to improve park system management and recreation opportunities, and development of improved recreation planning.

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Deleted 11/28/2005 (No longer funded by Congress)
Program Number
Federal Agency/Office
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
Project Grants.
Program Accomplishments
Since the inception of this program in 1978, an investment in excess of $316 million in matching funds has been made in the rehabilitation of recreation facilities and improvements in the delivery of recreation services within the more urbanized areas of the United States.
Urban Park and Recreation Recovery Act of 1978, Title 1, Public Law 95-625, 16 U.S.C. 2501-2514.
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
Eligible applicants are cities and counties meeting the eligibility requirements as listed in the October 9, 1979, Federal Register and in 36 CFR Part 72, Appendix A. Eligibility is based on need, economic and physical distress, and the relative quality and condition of urban recreation facilities and systems. Jurisdictions which are located within standard metropolitan areas that are not on the eligibility listing may apply for discretionary funds provided that these grants are in accord with the intent of the program. These discretionary funds are limited to 15 percent of the funds available annually for rehabilitation, innovation and recovery action program grants.
Beneficiary Eligibility
General public.
Jurisdictions must have an approved Recovery Action Program on file with the National Park Service in order to compete for rehabilitation and innovation grants. This document outlines the high priority recreation needs of jurisdictions and is a step toward good recreation planning. The plans must be submitted to and approved by National Park Service regional offices before a jurisdiction can apply for funding.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
In order to reduce the amount of time and documentation needed for a formal application, and to foster the competitive aspects of the UPARR program, a preapplication procedure is used. The preapplication should provide information adequate to guide proposal selection. The preapplication must include those items as set forth in the Preapplication Handbook available from any NPS Field Office. Grants will be awarded in accordance with the availability of funds. Funding for an approved grant will not be increased from subsequent yearly appropriations. Applicants are encouraged to discuss their proposals with their NPS Field Office to determine basic eligibility and appropriateness prior to submitting a preapplication. If a State is assisting the applicant in preapplication preparation, providing a source of matching share, or giving technical assistance, the State may wish to assist in submission of the preapplication to the appropriate NPS Field Office. This program is eligible for coverage under E.O. 12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs." An applicant should consult the office or official designated as the single point of contact in his or her State for more information on the process the State requires to be followed in applying for assistance, if the State has selected the program for review.
Application Procedure
Preapplication shall be submitted to the appropriate NPS Field Office by the chief elected executive officer of the applicant jurisdiction. Only basic information should be submitted at this time. This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-110.
Award Procedure
All rehabilitation and innovation grant proposals will first be reviewed by the field office to assure that they meet all minimum legal standards. When this review has been completed, and if a proposal meets the minimum legal standards, it will be certified as eligible for funding. Proposals not meeting minimum legal standards will be returned to the applicant. Periodically, all certified proposals will be evaluated and ranked in the regional offices. The highest priority proposals within established funding limits will be submitted to the National Park Service, Washington, DC Office where they will be judged by panels whose members are knowledgeable in recreation and urban revitalization. Innovation and rehabilitation proposals will be ranked separately. Following review and ranking by the panels, the Director will approve tentative grant offers for those proposals which may be funded. Successful applicants will be notified by the National Park Service Field Offices, and completion of the formal application process will take place. The formal application process must be completed within 120 days of notification of the tentative grant offer, or the tentative grant offer may be withdrawn. Final approval of the grant and obligation of funds will occur when all application requirements have been met and the appropriate documents are on file. Recovery Action Program (planning) grants, unlike Rehabilitation and Innovation grants, require a single application and competition at the field level.
Contact the NPS Regional Office serving your area.
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
Within 30 days.
Not applicable.
Not applicable.
How are proposals selected?
The program is competitive and the demand for grants far exceeds the available funds. Preapplications are rated and ranked in accordance with a national ranking system to ensure that grants are fairly and equitably awarded. Full applications are invited based on the ranking of the preapplications. Ranking factors include population, condition of existing recreation areas and facilities, demonstrated deficiencies at the neighborhood level particularly for minority and low moderate income residents, public participation extent of project support by local government, the extent to which the project will provide employment opportunity, and the amount of State and private support.
How may assistance be used?
Recovery Action Program grants are matching grants (50 percent Federal-50 percent local) to local governments for the development of local park and recreation system recovery plans. Eligible activities include resource and needs assessments, coordination, citizen involvement and planning, and program development activities to encourage public definition of goals. Recovery Action Program grants are chiefly intended to assist local efforts to develop priorities and strategies for overall recreation system recovery. State, local and private funds may be used as the nonfederal share of project costs. Additionally, Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program funds (Department of Housing and Urban Development) may be used as part of the local match. Section 1009 of the UPARR Act prohibits use of any other type of Federal grant to match UPARR grants. All properties assisted through this program must be open to the public. Rehabilitation grants are matching capital grants (70 percent Federal-30 percent-local) to local governments for the purpose of rebuilding, remodeling, or expanding existing facilities. Funds may not be used for routine maintenance and upkeep activities nor may they be used for acquisition. Innovation grants are matching grants (70 percent Federal- 30 percent local) to local governments to cover costs of personnel, facilities, equipment, supplies or services designed to demonstrate innovative and cost effective ways to enhance park and recreation opportunities at the neighborhood level. Innovative grant funds may be used to address common problems related to facility operations and the delivery of recreation services. These funds may not be used for routine operation and maintenance activities. Innovative grant awards nationwide are limited to ten percent of the total annual authorization for the Urban Park and Recreation Recovery program.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Inspection reports will be requested on completed projects assisted through UPARR. Reports are required with billings.
In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133 (Revised, June 24, 1997), "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations," nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $300,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $300,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in Circular No. A-133.
Maintain records to facilitate audit, including records that fully disclose the amount and disposition of assistance; the total cost of the project; and the amount and nature of that portion of the cost supplied by other sources.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Recovery Action Program grant matching: Up to 50 percent matching grants are authorized for the preparation of Recovery Action Programs. Local in-kind donations of assistance (salaries, supplies, printing, etc.) for the preparation of a Recovery Action Program may be used as part of the 50 percent local match. State in-kind donations for the preparation of a Recovery Action Program may also be used as part of a local match (part of the 50 percent). Any costs for which a Federal match is sought must be well documented to provide adequate accountability for audit purposes. Rehabilitation and Innovation grant matching: The program provides for 70 percent Federal match for rehabilitating existing recreation facilities and areas. Seventy percent matching funds are also authorized to local governments for innovation grants which will address widespread coordination, management and access problems through innovative and cost effective approaches; as an incentive for State involvement in the recovery of urban recreation systems, the Federal government will match, dollar for dollar, State contributions to the local share of an Innovation or Rehabilitation; up to 15 percent of the approved grant. The Federal share will not exceed 85 percent of the approved grant.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Construction activities in either Rehabilitation or Innovation proposals will be limited to 3 years or 3 full construction seasons, whichever is greater. Innovation proposals which consist of service or program stages (e.g., hiring or training personnel, and action/element before actually providing the recreation service) must be initiated within 1 year from grant approval. Planning grants should be completed within 1 year from grant approval.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
See Appendix IV of the Catalog for addresses.
Headquarters Office
National Park Service, National Center for Recreation and Conservation, Recreation Programs, 1849 C Street, NW., Room 3624, Washington, DC 20240. Contact: Wayne Strum, Telephone: (202) 565-1200 (FAX: 202-565-1130). Use the same number for FTS.
Website Address
Financial Information
Account Identification
(Grants) FY 02 $28,900,000; FY 03 est $0; and FY 04 est $0.
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
Rehabilitation Grants, $8,438 to $5,250,000; Innovation Grants, $7,000 to $1,100,000; Recovery Action Program Grants, $2,750 to $175,000. Grant competition in 2001 had a ceiling of $500,000 per grant.
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
October 9, 1979 Federal Register. (Eligibility), March 10, 1980 Federal Register (Planning), October 29, 1980 Federal Register (Grant Procedures), 36 CFR Part 72 (General Guidelines).
Examples of Funded Projects
Rehabilitation grants have been awarded to renovate a wide variety of existing community park and recreation facilities. Innovation grants have been awarded to demonstrate unique and cost-effective methods for providing better recreation services. Successful proposals have utilized volunteer citizen corps for maintaining neighborhood parks, promoted anti-crime and safety programs in parks, and have used new techniques to coordinate public-private sharing of recreation resources and facilities. Other proposals have been successful in providing recreation for the handicapped and senior citizens, through outreach programs and community extension services.