The Parks and Recreation Trust Fund (PARTF) provides dollar-for-dollar matching grants to local governments for the acquisition and/or development of park and recreational projects to serve the general public.
Click the links below to view information about eligibility.
North Carolina counties and incorporated municipalities are eligible for PARTF grants. Public authorities, as defined by N.C. General Statute 159-7, are also eligible if they are authorized to acquire land or develop recreational facilities for the general public. A public authority that is considering a PARTF grant should provide its regional consultant (click here to find your consultant) with proof of eligibility as soon as possible.
Two or more local governments may apply jointly. One government must serve as the primary sponsor. Each applicant must complete a separate grant 'Basic Facts and Assurances' form (see page 6 of the application). If approved, both parties will be jointly responsible for compliance with all rules pertaining to operation and maintenance of the project.
Applicants can buy land to use as recreational projects for the public or to protect the natural or scenic resources of the property. Applicants can also request money to build or renovate recreational and support facilities. A project must be located on a single site. Sports equipment, maintenance equipment, office equipment and indoor furniture cannot be purchased with PARTF grants.
An applicant must match the grant dollar-for-dollar, 50% of the total cost of the project, and may contribute more than 50%. The appraised value of land to be donated to the applicant can be used as part of the match. The value of in-kind services, such as volunteer work, cannot be used as part of the match.
Applicants must have control of the PARTF park site
An applicant must own or have at least a 25-year signed lease or easement for the property where a PARTF facility will be located. The applicant must submit copies of the deed or of the signed lease with the PARTF grant application. Exception: This does not apply to land acquired with a PARTF grant.
Property acquired with PARTF must be dedicated forever for public recreational use. Facilities built or renovated with a PARTF grant must be available for public recreational use for at least 25 years. While user fees can be charged, areas and facilities must be open and accessible to the public-at-large with no restrictions such as membership.
PARTF projects on school property
PARTF can assist with building public recreational facilities on public school property. A county or municipality must serve as the primary sponsor of the project and the school system must serve as a co-sponsor. Only recreational facilities that are not generally provided by a school for use of its students are eligible. See a list of eligible and ineligible facilities.
Utility lines funded with PARTF assistance within park boundaries must be placed underground. Applicants are encouraged to place existing overhead utility lines underground.
Accessibility for disabled persons
All facilities funded by PARTF must comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines.
Signing the contract
A grantee signs a contract that describes the project and the conditions for receiving a PARTF grant. This is a legally binding agreement between the grantee and the State of North Carolina.
Starting a project
A grantee must sign a contract before beginning any components of a PARTF project. There are two exceptions. Some planning costs (see page 10 of the PARTF grant application) can be incurred before the deadline to submit the application. Also, the Parks and Recreation Authority can approve a waiver allowing an applicant to acquire land before a grant is approved.
Deadline for completing a PARTF project
A grant recipient has a maximum three years from the date specified in the contract to complete a project.
Many of the requirements listed on this page are based on the NC Administrative Rules for the PARTF local grant program. The administrative rules for PARTF describe the requirements of the grant program that apply to applicants including who can apply and how grant recipients are selected. According to the rules, park land and recreational facilities purchased with PARTF assistance can only be used for public recreation without any restrictions including membership. View NC administrative code regarding PARTF - pdf