What is it?
The Park and Recreational Facility Construction Act (PARC) was created by Public Act 096-0820 effective November 18, 2009 to provide grants to be disbursed by the DNR to eligible local governments for park and recreation unit construction projects. A park or recreation unit construction project means the acquisition, development, construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation, improvements, architectural planning, and installation of capital facilities consisting, but not limited to, buildings, structures, and land for park and recreation purposes and open spaces and natural areas.
Who may apply for the grants?
Units of local government that are authorized by Illinois law to expend public funds for the acquisition and development of land for public indoor/outdoor park, recreation or conservation purposes are eligible to apply for funding assistance. School districts are not eligible.
What types of projects are eligible for grants?
“Bondable” or “brick and mortar” projects for capital expenditures may include, but are not limited to, demolition in preparation for additional indoor/outdoor recreation purposes, site preparation and improvements for indoor/outdoor recreation purposes, utility work for indoor/outdoor recreation purposes, reconstruction or improvement of existing buildings or facilities for indoor/outdoor recreation purposes, expansion of buildings/facilities for indoor/outdoor recreation purposes, and new construction of buildings/structures.
Land acquisition projects for public park recreation and conservation purposes include, but are not limited to, acquisition of land for the following: to construct new public indoor/outdoor recreation buildings, structures and facilities; to expand existing public indoor/outdoor recreation buildings, structures and facilities; general park purposes such as regional, community and neighborhood parks and playfields; frontage on public surface waters for recreation use; open space/conservation purposes to protect floodplains, wetlands, natural areas, wildlife habitat and unique geologic and biologic features, and additions to such areas.
Please note that the priority of the program is the renovation or construction of indoor recreation facilities since they are not eligible under other IDNR grant programs.
Can a local sponsor submit more than one application per grant cycle?
Yes. There is no limit on the number of applications one agency may submit per grant cycle.
What are the funding limits?
The DNR may limit any one single project to a maximum of no more than 10% of the amount released for any fiscal year.
The maximum grant amount available per project for the FY14 grant cycle is 2.5 million.
Of the total amount of PARC projects awarded statewide, 20% shall be awarded to the Chicago Park District, provided that the Chicago Park District complies with the provisions of State law and PARC rules, and 80% shall be awarded to local government units outside of the City of Chicago.
The PARC program shall operate on a reimbursement basis providing up to the following maximum percentages for funding assistance: the State will provide up to 75% of approved project costs, with the exception of those local governments defined as “disadvantaged”, which will be eligible for up to 90% funding
What are the major evaluation priorities of the PARC grant program?
The primary priorities for evaluating PARC projects include, but are not limited to, the following criteria:
(1) useful life of existing facilities and improvements in comparison to the Department’s schedule of Useful Life of Parks and Recreation Facilities;
(2) address public health and safety needs;
(3) sponsor has high economic need;
(4) correct accessibility deficiencies as defined by the Americans With Disability Act;
(5) projects that provide the greatest benefit in terms of cost per capita within the applicant’s jurisdictional boundaries; and
(6) land acquisition.
Can other State/Federal funds be used to match the PARC program?
Is there any application deadline when I must apply?
Opening date for applications is January 24, 2014 and deadline for applications is March 10th, 2014 at 5:00 PM.
How can I receive more information regarding the PARC grant program?
By contacting DNR’s Division of Grant Administration
One Natural Resources Way
Springfield, IL. 62702
Phone: (217) 782-7481
FAX: (217) 782-9599