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Community Recreation Grant Applications Now Open

Updated on Mar. 25 to reflect the new deadline of Apr. 9.

Buncombe County has opened the application cycle of the Community Recreation Grants program for projects taking place from July 2021-June 2022. The grants are part of other countywide initiatives that help make Buncombe County a place everyone from infants to retirees has the opportunity to be strong, healthy, and successful. The program is intended to help community nonprofits make immediate improvements and jump-start long-term progress that align with the Buncombe 2025 plan. Grants range in amounts from $500-$6,000, depending on the number of qualifying applicants.

To apply, click here.

"We are excited to offer these grants to creative local organizations doing the integral work to make our community stronger and more resilient," says Peyton O’Conner, Director of Buncombe County Recreation Services. "Community Recreation Grant projects represent a primary goal of low-cost, inclusive wellness and therapeutic opportunities that are accessible to all residents regardless of cultural, physical, cognitive, or socioeconomic background. As the coronavirus pandemic shut everything down, the one avenue for maintaining peoples' physical and mental wellbeing were parks, open spaces, greenways, and trails – and the recreational opportunities that take place within them. When combined with the ability to deliver healthier, happier, equitable communities, parks and recreation's powerful economic impact highlights the fact that these offerings are not merely a 'nice-to-have' luxury government service. Instead, public recreation is an essential core service that transforms our cities, towns, and county into vibrant and prosperous communities for all."


Eligible entities include Buncombe County nonprofits focused on providing equitable access to recreational, fitness, cultural, and wellness activities to the public at no- or low-cost. These funds are intended to be a leveraging tool that promote partnerships between the County and area nonprofits and are not a donation, funding stream, or sponsorship opportunity. Programs applying for funding should align with the Buncombe 2025 plan’s focus areas, as well as embody the spirt of Buncombe County Recreation Services’ mission: Connect Communities. Preserve Culture. Change Lives.

Projects funded in the past have included creative placemaking, increasing safe connections to a wider range of play and wellness activities for underserved residents, supporting access to experiences that preserve regional and international cultures, improvements to public athletic fields and fitness courses, expanding environmental education, building food security through community gardens, and establishing multigenerational outdoor spaces for neighbors to connect with each other and foster community pride.

Want to apply?

Application, guidelines, and a list of 2020 recipients are available online. Questions should be directed to

The grant application deadline is 5 p.m. on Fri., Apr. 9, 2021. Late applications will not be accepted.