Parks & Public Space Initiative/Margaret Annis Boys Trust Grant Application Guidelines and Information

Upcoming Grant Application Deadlines: TBA

Grant Application Guidelines and Information (download as PDF)

Overview
The Parks & Public Space Initiative supports the beautification, development and activation of neighborhood/community parks, school parks, trails and other public lands. This initiative grew out of the Margaret Annis Boys Trust, which was established through a gift from Miss Boys’ estate in 1991 to support and encourage landscaping and beautification projects in parks, medians and other public lands in Oklahoma City. Grant awards will vary depending on the size and complexity of the project. In addition to funding, Oklahoma City Community Foundation staff will provide project expertise.
Goals & Objectives
  1. To increase utilization of neighborhood parks, neighborhood school parks, trails and other spaces open to the public for recreation, cultural and health improvement.
  2. To improve parks, trails and public spaces while providing programming consistent with the priorities identified in the 2013 Oklahoma City Parks Master Plan.
  3. To engage community groups, neighborhoods, corporations, municipalities and other nonprofit organizations in improving our neighborhood parks, school parks and trails and the programs that are in them.
  4. To increase community stewardship of parks, school parks, trails and public spaces.
Who is eligible to apply?
  • Neighborhood/community groups connected to parks, school parks, trails and other public spaces in Oklahoma County.
  • Any 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization providing direct services and that has a governing board based in Oklahoma County.
  • Local government agencies or state and city-connected agencies.
Grant Funding Goals
  • Encourage landscaping and beautification projects in public community spaces including: neighborhood/community parks, school parks, trails, public medians and other public lands in central Oklahoma.
  • Increase utilization of public spaces which are open and accessible to citizens for recreation, cultural and health improvement.
  • Support programming consistent with the priorities identified in the 2013 Oklahoma City Parks Master Plan.
  • Engage community groups, neighborhoods, businesses and other nonprofit organizations to improve our public community spaces
  • Increase community awareness, involvement and stewardship of our public community spaces.
Application Process
  1. Prior to receiving an application to apply, applicants must contact Brian Dougherty at b.dougherty@occf.org or by phone at 405-235-5603 no later than Jan. 8, 2020, to ensure your project is within the scope of the Parks Initiative Grant criteria.
  2. Grant applications will be accepted via an online process after an organization has requested and been invited to apply. The invitation to apply will include an access code and URL link for the online application.
Grant Project Narrative, Budget, Evaluation & Reporting
  • The grant application includes specific questions including:
    • Description of the project for which funding support is requested; is this project new or an expansion of an existing project/program?
    • Statement for the need for the project
    • Description and number of participants of who will utilize the space
    • Timeline for implementation
  • An accurate and detailed budget must be submitted including an itemized list of all the components for the project. If the project is multi-phased, the submission must identify which item is included in each phase. Please indicate how you plan to sustain the project beyond the initial grant funding.
  • The proposal must include a match amount from the applicant. Future landscape maintenance expenses for the project are not considered for the match. Match amounts vary depending on the grant request and the complexity of the project.
  • A project/program evaluation or outcome measurement plan will be required. Applicants will need to demonstrate an evaluation component that reviews the success of the projects/programs and ensures continued maintenance and sustainability. Evidence of activation will be required.
  • Grantees will be required to submit evaluation reports via an online process for one (1) year after the award has been made or until the funded program/project is completed.
  • Funds provided by the Oklahoma City Community Foundation in support of identified parks projects or programs will be held in escrow and will be distributed as expenses are incurred.
Priorities and requirements for considered funding
  • Existing neighborhood/community parks, school parks, trails, public medians and other open and accessible public properties will be the primary focus area for implementation of approved projects.
  • The majority of Parks and Public Space Initiative grants are infrastructure and support activities or programs.
  • Projects must be completed within a year after funding notification. All proposed projects must be open and accessible to the public during reasonable usage hours.
  • All proposed projects must be located within Greater Oklahoma City with Oklahoma County being the priority.
  • The proposed project must provide documentation of approval by the government entity directly responsible for the management and oversight of the project. Projects and programs must be consistent with the 2013 Oklahoma City Parks Master Plan.
  • Neighborhood streetscapes are a low priority for grant funding.
  • A comprehensive site plan of the proposed project must be included with the grant application. The application must include current and future phases of the project if multi-phased. It can be professionally prepared or presented as a graphic over a Google Earth image.
  • A significant volunteer component is required for each grant proposal. The volunteer group must share an active role in the planning, implementation and ongoing maintenance of the project.
  • A realistic location, installation and maintenance plan with identified responsibilities and budget must be submitted to ensure the project’s sustainability. Tree plantings typically require a three-year maintenance plan to ensure establishment.
  • Proposed grant requests supporting bond issue and other publically funded projects will be considered on a case-by-case basis. There must be strong evidence that the project is ready to move forward immediately and that the Parks Initiative grant portion will play a significant role in the overall success and impact of the project.

NOTE: All physical improvement plans are subject to city regulations and all applicable permits. In some cases approved projects may require more public involvement, possibly including: Oklahoma City Council support, Planning Department approval, Parks Commission approval, school board approval, etc. If a project is accepted, the goal of the Oklahoma City Community Foundation is to help with this process. However, the responsibility for this process lies with the funded organization. All awards are contingent upon approval by appropriate government entities.

Grant Deadline and Notification
Deadline for submission of all grant application materials is 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020. The grant application will be reviewed by a committee and funding recommendations forwarded to the board of Trustees. Grantees will be notified of a decision by early March.
Reporting
Grantees will be required to submit evaluation reports via an online process for one (1) year after the award has been made or until the funded program/project is completed.
Questions & Clarifications
Please submit any questions or a need for clarification on any aspect of the application requirements to b.dougherty@occf.org and note in the subject line “Parks Initiative Grant Application.” Replies will be provided in a timely manner during the workweek. Questions will not be answered after the deadline.
Recent Grants

Spring 2021

City of Choctaw
$11,050 to add landscaping, trees, benches and granite to the historic area that was part of the first Land Run that is now home to the Rock Island Caboose.

Fields and Futures
$18,146 to add trees and landscaping to athletic fields at Mary Golda Ross Middle School and Classen SAS High School at Northeast.

Lynn Institute of Health Care Research
$15,000 to add landscaping, trees, seating and stage needed to create a pocket park in the northeast Oklahoma City neighborhood.

Myriad Gardens Foundation
$6,300 to replace trees lost in the October 2020 ice storm.

Oklahoma City Public Schools
$7,550 to resurface the walking track at Hillcrest Elementary.

RIVERSPORT Foundation
$12,000 to add trees and landscaping to a Boathouse District welcome area at the intersection of Phillips Avenue and SE 5th Street.


Fall 2020

City of Edmond Parks and Recreation
$14,000 to plant trees adjacent to an inclusive playground area at Mitch Park in north Edmond. 

Oklahoma Children’s Theatre
$13,000 to fund 40 free productions at Will Rogers Park in the fall and spring. 

Oklahoma Christian University
$15,000 to plant trees adjacent to Oklahoma Christian University’s Eagle Trail Loop on the campus’ northwest side. 

Rollingwood Neighborhood Association
$11,000 to add a small stage, additional seating and a walking surface in the pocket park south of Harvard Ave. and N.W. 63rd Street. 

WesTen District
$7,000 to plant shade trees in two WesTen District parks.