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Community Recreation Grants

Provides funding to promote fitness, health and wellness initiatives, activities and improvements.

The purpose of the Buncombe County Recreation Services Grants Program is to provide funding to qualified organizations within Buncombe County interested in partnering with our Department to carry out our mission through the promotion of recreational fitness, health and wellness initiatives as well as community based activities and capital improvements that increase recreational opportunities for the communities served.


Community Recreation Grants Announced

2019 Grant Awards

Buncombe County Recreation Services has approved nearly $100,000 in funding for 19 projects that will be enjoyed by thousands of county residents. The diverse group of projects represent a dedication to community access to fitness, wellness, and inclusive recreation, all of which improve the quality of life in the local community. Recipients are nonprofit organizations that primarily serve Buncombe County and offer free or low-fee activities that are open to the public.

"This year’s recipients of Buncombe County Recreation Services Community Recreation Grants are true community partners working to further our mission to provide high-quality recreational experiences and opportunities for social interaction and active lifestyles,”...

“These nonprofit organizations also display innovative approaches to recreation, ongoing commitments to sustainability, and foster atmospheres of inclusivity. Partnerships like these allow us to maximize our effectiveness throughout the county and support programs that are a win for our residents and families.”

Josh O’Conner Director of Buncombe County Recreation Services

  • Arts 2 People
    • $2,500 to purchase a portable sound system and expand free public programs and events in accessible outdoor spaces such as parks.
  • Asheville Buncombe Youth Soccer Association (ABYSA)
    • $6,000 for three soccer goals to be placed at local schools for use by students, soccer players, and community members.
  • Asheville GreenWorks
    • $4,995.88 to expand and enhance educational programs at Sandhill Community Orchard and promote sustainable land use.
  • Asheville Sailing Club
    • $4,280 to acquire seven training prams to increase access to a safe, low-cost sailing fleet at Lake Julian Park for area youth.
  • Asheville Tennis Association
    • $4,831.14 to purchase tennis racquets, balls, nets, ball hoppers, carts, and baskets to promote a healthy lifestyle and safe, low-cost activity to local youth.
  • Big Ivy Community Development Club
    • $6,000 to support start-up costs and public programming for the Big Ivy Community Center swimming pool.
  • Bountiful Cities
    • $5,993.11 to increase the engagement at 11 gardens within the Asheville Buncombe Community Garden Network through additional outdoor seating and picnic tables, updated signage, and repair of 16 raised-bed gardens at William W. Estes Elementary School and AC Reynolds High School.
  • Buckeye Cove Community Club
    • $6,000 to create a handicap parking space and walkway, providing direct access by unassisted visitors to Buckeye Cove Community Center.
  • Charles D. Owen Babe Ruth Baseball and Softball League
    • $5,000 to place a permanent wooden structure over a public batting cage pad.
  • Erwin Youth League
    • $6,000 to replace halide lights with environmentally efficient LED bulbs at its public ball field and teach sportsmanship to local youth.
  • Hola Community Arts
    • $5,744 to provide initial funding, costumes, and space rental for BAILEMOS, a culturally-tailored, community-based performing arts program promoting cultural awareness, physical activity, self-confidence, perseverance, social interaction, creativity, and self-esteem.
  • Leicester Community Center
    • $5,928 to make a permanent repair to its drainage system and install gutters to better utilize outdoor space for community programs and events.
  • Newfound Community Club
    • $6,000 to resurface portions of the public walking trail at Newfound Community Center for exercise and recreation.
  • Sandy Mush Community Center
    • $6,000 to purchase and install two shade structures to cover benches at a new playground adjacent to the community center, increasing community use and decreasing the risk of skin cancer.
  • Spring Mountain Community Club
    • $6,000 to convert the pavilion at Spring Mountain Community Center from a gravel floor to a concrete surface, providing an accessible social gathering space.
  • Swannanoa Community Council
    • $6,000 to install accessible benches and picnic tables at Grovemont Park Community Playground, Greenspace, and Pavilion to provide improved seating and safe spaces for families, youth, and community members to enjoy music, theatre, and other programming.
  • The North Carolina Arboretum Society
    • $5,327 to improve features of the ecoEXPLORE (Experiences Promoting Learning Outdoors for Research and Education) initiative to better reach traditionally under-served populations and foster a fun learning environment by encouraging youth to use technology constructively and explore the outdoors as citizen scientists.
  • Western North Carolina Disc Golf Association
    • $6,000 to improve 25 tee pads at Lake Julian Park’s no-cost disc golf course, allowing easier participation for beginner and veteran players.


Community Recreation Grant Application: .pdf | .docx

I. Purpose

The mission of Buncombe County Recreation Services is to improve the quality of life within our community by providing high quality recreational facilities, opportunities for social interaction, and programming which encourages health and wellness through active lifestyles. The purpose of the Buncombe County Recreation Services Grants Program is to provide funding to qualified organizations within Buncombe County interested in partnering with our Department to carry out our mission through the promotion of recreational fitness, health and wellness initiatives as well as community based activities and capital improvements that increase recreational opportunities for the communities served.

II. Eligibility Requirements

In order to be eligible to receive a Community Recreation Grant, the grantee MUST

  1. Be a nonprofit organization that serves the general public with a mission that reflects that of the Buncombe County Recreation Services as stated in the Purpose statement above and the Buncombe County Sustainability Plan Annual Report
  2. Operate in Buncombe County serving primarily Buncombe residents
  3. The organization, including the facility where the organization gathers, must be open to all members of the general public. Information regarding how the facility can be reserved for public use must be clearly posted and proof must be provided in the application

III. Preferred Applications

Applications which meet one or more of the following criteria will receive preferential status over other applications: Preferred applications will

  • Foster an atmosphere of inclusivity by extending recreation opportunities to minority or disadvantaged populations
  • Promote goals highlighted within the Buncombe County Sustainability Plan
  • Foster collaboration between area non-profits in a manner that maximizes effectiveness, increases reach, and reduces duplicative efforts
  • Promote novel or innovative recreational experiences which may aid the department in achieving its mission with a wider audience
  • Connect to existing local government efforts through providing a leveraging effect or through synergies created between multiple County departments or between jurisdictions

IV. Application Requirements

  1. In order to achieve eligibility for consideration, the application must clearly explain and appropriately quantify how the project will:
    • Create or expand recreational opportunities available to County residents
    • Add value to existing recreational or educational programs which are reflective of the department’s mission
    • Focus on community recreational experiences rather than the operational needs of the organization requesting funding
  2. All required information must be submitted on the Community Recreation Grant application form. If an application is not submitted on the appropriate application form, the Department reserves the right to deny review of that application.
  3. Signed applications must be received no later than Friday, October 18, 2019 by 5:00 pm. You may submit your application in one of two ways: electronically by email to: or by postal mail to: Buncombe County Recreation Services, 46 Valley Street, Asheville, NC 28801. Please do not drop applications off at the office. Applications received after this date/time will be rejected.
  4. Applicants are required to attach proof of their active non-profit status as recorded with the North Carolina Department of the Secretary of State with their application.
  5. Applicants are required to attach their non-profit organization’s current year annual operating budget as approved by your Board.
  6. Please include a project budget which includes a breakdown of the funding requested from Buncombe County Recreation Services and include quotes/estimates for the project. (Sample Budget Form attached to Application)
  7. Accurate and timely quotes must be provided for all materials and services listed in the grant application’s budget. All quotes must be provided directly from the vendor and submitted to Buncombe County Recreation Services with the completed application. Organizations must purchase goods/services from the vendors provided in the quotes submitted. If the organization wishes to change vendors, a request must be submitted in writing and approved by staff.
  8. Grant funds cannot be used to support food and entertainment costs, travel expenses, general office supplies, and/or salaries for any individual or sub-contractor, except for labor costs directly related to an approved capital improvement project.

V. Implementation of Grant Proposal

The grant recipient must agree to follow the subsequent guidelines in order to receive awarded funds in full.

  1. Announcements of funding approval will be sent out within one (1) week of the initial decision. Once notifications of funds have been issued, all funded organizations must sign and return the Fund Agreement form. No work can be done on a grant project prior to the fund agreement being signed.
  2. Staff will select organizations for an on-site visit after the completion of the project.
  3. Grant funds must be used within the fiscal year they are allocated (for this funding cycle: November 2019 through May 29, 2020). If the funds are not used, and a project is not carried out in full, the department reserves the right to refuse funding in subsequent years while also requiring the return of unused funds.
  4. All verifications of expenditures must be submitted by May 29, 2020. Only valid receipts on a vendor or retail company’s letterhead, printout or cash register receipt reflecting the company’s name will be accepted. The organization must complete the funded activity project prior to May 29, 2020.
  5. Buncombe County Recreation Services must be recognized as the granting organization in all documents, publications, and publicity (press releases, media, web pages including social media tools, verbal presentations, etc.) concerning the funded project.

Disbursement of Grants

  1. The maximum amount that will be considered for appropriation is $6,000.00. Please itemize and prioritize your submitted project budgets as funds are limited and we anticipate that many of the community’s non-profits will compete for consideration.
  2. The following criteria will be considered.
    • The source of income of the organization
      What areas of support does the organization have available to them for funding opportunities?
    • The population served
      How many citizens of Buncombe County will be directly served by the request and is the applying organization open to the general public without discrimination (as per Buncombe County policy)?
  3. Upon approval of grant funds, payment to the non-profit will be in the form of a check or electronic funds transfer, which will be written to or electronically transferred to the name of the requesting non-profit organization (checks will not be written to or funds transferred electronically to an individual representing the organization), and all necessary forms and documents required by Buncombe County Recreation Services must be signed by an approved officer of the non-profit organization.
  4. The organization receiving funds is responsible for adherence with all applicable government requirements and regulations including obtaining any and all appropriate permits. If your project includes improvements to any county owned property, Buncombe County Recreation Services Manager and the Buncombe County General Services Director must review and approve your plan before funds are released. If the project includes property which is not under the direct control or oversight of the organization applying for funds, proof of knowledge and consent on the part of the property owner must be presented with the application.
  5. No changes can be made to the project description and project budget without the prior approval of the staff.

Buncombe County reserves the right to modify funding based on previous applicants performance to ensure the effectiveness of the Community Recreation Grant Program administration. We also reserve the right to cancel this program at any time prior to funding the grant. Buncombe County does not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, color, age, religion, handicap, disability or national origin.

Grantees MUST comply with all mentioned deadlines or awarded funds will be forfeited

Locate & Contact

Recreation Services


Angie Hall
Recreation Services
P. (828) 250-6704

Community Investment
200 College Street, Suite 300
Asheville, NC 28801

Hours of Operation

Monday - Friday
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

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