MADISON AND ST. CLAIR COUNTIES – The Metro East Park and Recreation District (MEPRD) on Friday announced more than $2M in new grant opportunities for the improvement and expansion of public parks and trails throughout Madison and St. Clair Counties, IL. Consistent with recent years, MEPRD will offer a total of three (3) grant programs for FY 2022, including the Park and Trail Grant Program, Community Planning Grant Program, and Event Sponsorship Grant Program.

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Since MEPRD’s formation in 2000, a total of 199 park and trail projects, representing a $32.3M commitment, have been funded (at least in part) by the District. Utilizing its grant programs, MEPRD is able to advance its mission by partnering with others for the development of new parks and green space, improvements to existing facilities, and expanding the public system of regional trails that interconnect our neighborhoods, local businesses, schools, parks, and communities via safe, accessible active transportation corridors.

Earlier this month, MEPRD’s Board of Directors renewed funding for the Park and Trail Grant Program, Community Planning Grant Program, and Event Sponsorship Grant Program for Fiscal Year 2022. Information about each program, including a link to download the application(s) and up-to-date program funding totals, are now available on MEPRD’s website. www.meprd.org/funding

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"As we reflect on the past twenty years since MEPRD's formation and all that has been achieved in partnership with others, we cannot help but be enthusiastic about the future of recreation and active transportation in the Metro-East," remarked MEPRD Grant Coordinator Cole Preston. "With these new funding opportunities, we hope to expand on that success by fostering new partnerships and helping make our partners' projects a reality all across Madison and St. Clair Counties—improving the quality of life for all those who live, work, or recreate in the Metro-East."

The MEPRD FY22 Park and Trail Grant Program was approved with a program budget of $2M. The grant is open to public agencies, counties, and nonprofit organizations with a development or improvement project for public parks, trails, or recreation-related facilities in Madison and St. Clair Counties, IL. Under the FY22 Program, eligible applicants with a qualifying project type can apply for a MEPRD award valued at 40% of total project costs (up to $300K for regional trail segment projects; or up to $100K for park projects and other eligible project types). MEPRD will begin accepting applications on a first come, first-served basis at 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday, July 14, 2021, for projects that qualify under Grant Round #1. For more information about the program and grant round eligibility, go to www.meprd.org/park-trail-grant.

The MEPRD FY22 Community Planning Grant Program was approved with a program budget of $300,000. Eligible applicants with a qualifying project type—i.e., community-wide park planning and community-wide bicycle and pedestrian planning—can apply for a MEPRD award valued at 40% of eligible project costs (up to $40,000) beginning Wednesday, July 14, 2021, at 7:30 AM. For more information about the FY22 Community Planning Grant Program, visit www.meprd.org/planning-grant.

The MEPRD FY22 Event Sponsorship Grant Program has a total program budget of $20,000 and can be applied for by public agencies and nonprofit organizations headquartered within 15 miles of MEPRD’s jurisdiction, for virtual and/or in-person walking, running, hiking, and/or biking events. Applicants with a qualifying event can receive a MEPRD award valued at 25% of event out-of-pocket expenses, up to $1,000 for 501(c)3 organizations, and up to $2,500 for public agencies. MEPRD will begin accepting applications for the FY22 Event Sponsorship Grant Program at 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday, July 14, 2021. For more information, visit www.meprd.org/event-sponsorship.

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