VOF launches program to increase equitable access to open space

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The Virginia Outdoors Foundation has created a new grant program, Get Outdoors (GO), that will provide grants of up to $25,000 for projects that increase equitable access to safe open space in Virginia’s communities.

The first grant round, which opens today, focuses on projects in communities that have been inadequately served, overlooked, or harmed by unfair zoning, housing, and land-use practices or other systemic discrimination.

“Virginia’s land conservation programs are some of the most successful in the nation, but they have traditionally served communities that have higher rates of land ownership and more access to public open space,” says VOF Executive Director Brett Glymph. “Large numbers of Virginians still do not have access to safe open space in their neighborhoods because of historic injustices, and VOF hopes to do its part in correcting this through Get Outdoors and other grant programs.”

Grants may be used to fund studies, planning, capacity building, and infrastructure to enable safe use of, or access to, public open space, as well as for acquisition. VOF is making $250,000 available for the 2020-2021 grant round. Individual projects may receive no more than $25,000. The minimum grant amount is $500.

The application deadline is December 18, 2020. The application form, eligibility requirements, and other materials may be found online at https://vof.org/go. VOF encourages potential applicants to contact staff prior to applying to discuss eligibility and seek guidance on producing a successful application. Contact grants@vof.org or (434) 282-7054 for information or to receive hardcopies of the application and supporting materials. 

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