Established in 2020, the Virginia’s Outdoors Foundation’s Get Outdoors (GO) program provides grants for projects that increase equitable access to safe open space in Virginia’s communities. Some examples of costs that can be covered include planning, capacity building, and infrastructure. The intent of the program is to serve as a flexible, adaptable tool to be used to address communities’ needs.
VOF is seeking proposals for projects that increase equitable access to safe open space in Virginia’s communities, especially communities that have been inadequately served, overlooked, or marginalized by unfair zoning, housing, and land-use practices or other systemic discrimination.
GO grants may be awarded to state, local, regional, or tribal government entities, educational institutions, or non-profit organizations registered as tax-exempt under the Internal Revenue Service code, https://www.irs.gov/charities-non-profits/exempt-organization-types. Federal governmental entities, for-profit entities, and individuals are not eligible at this time.
VOF is making $350,000 available for the spring 2021 grant round. Individual projects may receive no more than $25,000. The minimum grant amount is $500.
There are communities in Virginia that have been subject to discrimination because of race, ethnicity, income, or other factors, which has resulted in less access to safe open space for recreation, education, and other uses. These communities may not have a high rate of land ownership, and therefore are unable to participate in traditional land conservation programs. VOF seeks to ensure that all Virginians have access to safe open spaces that result in better health and a higher quality of life. During the application process, applicants should describe how their community has been inadequately served or marginalized. The application should make clear how the project will result in better access to open space and who will benefit. Letters from community organizations and leaders should support the application. If you have any questions or concerns related to how we define equitable access to open space, please contact us.
We may provide funding for studies, planning, concept development, capacity building, and infrastructure to enable safe use of or access to public open space, as well as for land acquisition. Projects that seek to acquire or convey an interest in real estate (such as land acquisition, easement protection, lease agreement, or a right of way) should consider applying for a grant from VOF’s Preservation Trust Fund program.