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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

2020 Grant Awards

Buncombe County Recreation Services has approved $100,000 in funding for 21 projects to be enjoyed by thousands of county residents. The diverse group of projects represents a dedication to equitable access to fitness, wellness, and inclusive recreation to 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. For most projects, additional funding sources have been secured to cover the total amount.

“Over the past several months, our community has seen – more than ever before – the value of equitable, accessible recreation opportunities in creating a safe, healthy, and resilient community,”

says Josh O’Conner Director of Buncombe County Recreation Services

“We are in the community building business, but we alone cannot fully deliver on the proven environmental, health, economic, and social impacts of greener parks and high-quality inclusive activities that remove barriers to building well-being for all residents. We have great expectations for this year’s innovative grant applicants to help us ‘fill in the gaps’ with quick wins that create a more vibrant and livable community through the power of partnership.”

  • Asheville Black Bears Baseball Club
    • $5,817.04 to enhance softball and baseball fields and batting cages at Charles D. Owen Park.
  • Asheville Buncombe Youth Soccer Association
    • $6,000 for soccer goals at locations in areas that do not have any.
  • Asheville GreenWorks
    • $3,828.70 to expand operations and educational workshops at Sandhill Community Orchard.
  • Asheville Tennis Association
    • $5,314.27 for tennis equipment to be used for programming at schools and for residents from traditionally underserved backgrounds.
  • Asheville Youth Football and Cheerleading League
    • $6,000 for new football helmets for players from underserved backgrounds.
  • Bent Creek Community Park
    • $6,000 to add a shade structure and playground equipment in the park.
  • Big Ivy Community Development Club
    • $3,496.60 for improvements and repairs to its swimming pool.
  • Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation’s Kids in Parks
    • $4,179.59 to install a TRACK Trail (self-guided adventures that use signs to turn visits into fun and exciting outdoor experiences with prizes for tracking progress) at Charles D. Owen Par.
  • Bountiful Cities
    • $4,313.58 to establish mature fruiting shade trees and add play structures at six community gardens and improve greenhouses at Vance Elementary and Hall Fletcher Elementary Schools.
  • Buckeye Cove Community Club
    • $3,983.22 to provide an accessible walkway from the parking lot to its community center.
  • Enka Intermediate School PTO
    • $3,511.80 for play structures in its new playground.
  • Erwin Youth League
    • $6,000 for equipment to enhance and maintain sports fields.
  • Gladiator Sports Academy
    • $4,964.20 for football equipment to be used by young men considered at-risk.
  • Hola Community Arts
    • $6,000 for native 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.
  • MountainCare
    • $2,840.80 for equipment to be used in exercise programs for participants with physical or cognitive impairments.
  • The North Carolina Arboretum
    • $2,745 for speakers and costs associated with a weekly afterschool program in which participants visit local parks (in conjunction with Asheville City Schools Foundation, the In Real Life program, and EcoExplore Challenge Camp).
  • Ox Creek Community Center
    • $3,420 for interior and exterior repairs to its community center.
  • Sandy Mush Community Center
    • $6,000 to install sports and recreation structures at its community center.
  • Shiloh Community Association
    • $5,541 to establish green space and recreation areas at its newly-donated community building.
  • Spring Mountain Community Club
    • $4,044.20 to renovate the meeting room at its community center.
  • Swannanoa Community Council
    • $6,000 for enhancements and expansions to Grovemont Park.
  • Total Funding: $100,000

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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 Strategic Plan
  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 16, 2020 by 5:00 pm. You may submit your application at 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


Adam Zinke
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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