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Phoenix Parks and Recreation seeks grant applicants to activate local parks

Made possible through the American Rescue Plan Act, eligible neighborhood groups and nonprofits can be awarded up to $10,000 to host events or activities at Phoenix parks. (File Photos/
Phoenix Parks invites neighborhood groups, nonprofits to apply through Sept. 29
Staff Reports | Digital Free Press

Registration is now open for park activation grant funds through the Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department.

Eligible neighborhood groups and nonprofits can be awarded up to $10,000 to host events or activities such as movies in the park, youth sports, fitness programs and concerts, according to a press release.

“We are excited to offer this opportunity in our city,” said Cynthia Aguilar, director of Phoenix Parks and Recreation, in the release. “Our goal is to build stronger communities by working together to activate our parks in positive ways.”

Registration closes on Sept. 29. Register online HERE.

Phoenix city officials point out in March 2021, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 was signed into law providing the Phoenix with nearly $396 million.

The first allocation of $198 million was received in May 2021 of which $28,800,000 was dedicated to youth and education programs. In April 2023, the Phoenix City Council approved the use of an additional $500,000 to fund the department’s first Park Activation Grant Program, city officials report.

A portion of these funds are allocated to hiring a Neighborhood Grant Administrator to oversee and facilitate ARPA grant funds.

What is park activation?

Phoenix Parks officials report ‘park activation’ is the process of building community trust and engagement with parks and open spaces. Phoenix Parks and Recreation seeks to activate parks through programming in a variety of ways to promote recreational opportunities, the enjoyment of municipal parks and facilities, and ensure parks provide a welcoming and safe place for everyone.

Phoenix Parks: who can apply?

Neighborhood organizations listed with the city of Phoenix or qualified 501(c)(3) nonprofits seeking to coordinate and hold park activation events and programs in parks serving qualified census tracts are eligible to apply.

What Phoenix Parks events or activities are eligible for application?

  • Movies in the Park
  • Concerts in the Park
  • Food Truck Festivals
  • Youth Sports Programming
  • Neighborhood Farmers Markets (Must be free admission and have free activities associated with the event)
  • Neighborhood Resource Fairs
  • Safety Events (ex. Bike Rodeos)
  • Fitness Programs
  • 2024 GAIN Events
  • Neighborhood Celebrations (May include inflatable jumpers and free activities)

Of Note: Phoenix officials report events and activities must be free of cost/admission for the community and park rules must be followed.

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