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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.

Deadline to Apply:
FY2025 grant applications will be available from February 5th to March 29th at 5:00 PM for projects taking place July 1, 2024 - June 15, 2025


Community Recreation Grants Announced

2023 Grant Awards

Buncombe County Recreation Services 2023 Community Recreation Grants recipients include nineteen local nonprofits that will split nearly $100,000 for projects that build momentum for long-term change in the community.

“COVID-19 has changed the way we think about parks and recreation,” says Allison Dains, Director of Buncombe County Recreation Services. “Strengthening relationships with these and other community partners allows us to more fully deliver on Buncombe County’s promise that everyone from infants to retirees has safe, equitable access to high-quality parks and recreational experiences – and the mental, physical, economic, and cultural benefits that come with that access.”

says Allison Dains Director of Buncombe County Recreation Services

This diverse group of projects represent a dedication to improving the health and resiliency of residents through inclusive access to recreational, fitness, and wellness activities offered to the public for free or at low cost. For most projects, additional funding sources have been secured to cover the total amount.

  • Asheville Tennis Association
    • $5,538 Purchase equipment for ongoing programming which includes balls, racquets, and teaching aides, and also provide new nets for parks and schools in need of new equipment. 
  • Bent Creek Community Park
    • $6,000 To purchase an ADA swing, single seat frame, and ADA accessible ramp for Bent Creek Community Park. Funds will also cover installation.
  • Big Ivy Community Development Club
    • $4,175 To paint and seal the basketball court and install dog clean-up stations and signs at Big Ivy Community Center.
  • Black Mountain Montessori
    • $6,000 To control water runoff and erosion, to create ways for safe and creative play by replacing old equipment, and to add new areas that foster positive growth and development of the 3-6 year old child.
  • Bountiful Cities
    • $5,826 Purchasing a variety of event equipment directly requested by nine area community gardens located within Buncombe County, such as portable tables, chairs, popup tents, outdoor kitchen gear and equipment, and audio/visual equipment
  • Catalyst Sports
    • $5,600 To procure a Trance XE Adaptive Mountain Bike for the Get Off the Pavement Program.
  • Colaborativa La Milpa
    • $6,000 Installing landscaping at an outdoor recreational and cultural space on cooperatively owned property near the intersection of Louisiana and Emma Road.
  • Irene Wortham Center
    • $5,750 Install two ceiling risers in the Adult Day Activity Center to make physical movement and transitioning around the building more accessible for adults with developmental disabilities, while also making it easier for the staff to support the clients
  • LEAF Global Arts
    • $6,000 Implementing this educational strategy to engage local youth through established school & community partnerships by hosting field trips of up to 30 students during the school day &/or out-of-school time."
  • OpenDoors of Asheville
    • $3,617 Purchase supplies to send students to overnight camp at Camp Watia, Camp Rockmont, ninth graders to North Carolina Outward Bound programs, and students to local soccer camps.
  • RiverLink
    • $6,000 Support outdoor recreation in a marginalized community by meeting local residents’ stated desire for basic amenities like a shaded gathering place, while addressing fundamental social equity issues where people live.
  • Sandy Mush Community Center
    • $3,420 Replace the existing lighting in the gym with brand new energy-efficient LED light fixtures
  • Shiloh Community Association
    • $6,000 Install a new roof for the SCA Pavilion with wood repair on sheeting and installing ice and water shield in order to maintain and improve the infrastructure of the garden days along with maintaining the Shiloh Legacy Art Trail.
  • Swannanoa Community Council
    • $6,000 Enhance the Grovemont Park community greenspace and play/recreation space by re-mulching the playground, upgrading Top Timber of Playground retaining walls, improving/expanding outdoor classroom
  • University of North Carolina at Asheville Foundation, Inc
    • $6,000 Host the 2nd annual Bulldog SportsFest in the fall of 2022 for children ages 6-12 with an emphasis on recruiting children from underrepresented backgrounds or who have a demonstrated financial need.
  • YWCA of Asheville and Western North Carolina
    • $6,000 Provide trauma-informed mindfulness training to vulnerable populations with limited access to wellness and mental health services.

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I. Purpose

The mission of Buncombe County Parks & Recreation 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 Community Recreation Grant 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 and educational 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 Parks & Recreation as stated in the Purpose statement above and the Buncombe County Strategic Plan
  2. Operate in Buncombe County serving primarily Buncombe residents
  3. Be able to provide the following documentation if awarded the grant
    • Proof of Nonprofit Status (i.e. IRS Determination letter)
    • Certificate(s) of General Liability Insurance with Buncombe County named as additional insured
    • Latest 990 accepted by the IRS (with proof of acceptance)
    • A copy of your externally prepared Financial Statements (internally prepared is acceptable if you are not a large enough organization to have an audit)

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 underserved or underrepresented populations
  • Promote goals highlighted within the Comprehensive 2043 Plan
  • Promote a recreational opportunity that emphasizes outdoor recreation, environmental education, athletics, and/or cultural experiences.

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 and environmental educational 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 March 31, 2023 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 Parks & Recreation 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 Parks & Recreation 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: July 1, 2023 through July 15, 2024). 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 June 15, 2024. 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 June 15, 2024.
  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 residents of Buncombe County will be directly served by the request and is the applying organization open to the general public without discrimination?
  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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