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Mastenbrook Grants: Good for Parks


A source of funds for ideas in parks

There is no shortage of great ideas, however without a bit of organization and financial backing many ideas never become reality. That's where the Fairfax County Park Authority's Mastenbrook Grant Program makes a difference.

Mastenbrook Grants provide limited matching funds for projects in Fairfax County parks. Since 1999, more than 60 Mastenbrook Grant projects have been completed. There have been dog parks, playgrounds, greenhouses and shade gardens constructed as well as tree plantings.

In 1998, John Mastenbrook, a 21-year veteran of the Fairfax County Park Authority Board, suggested the creation of a grant program to encourage public and private ventures that would improve Fairfax County parks and park facilities. The program's aim was to fill a gap between limited bond funding and the community's desire for new neighborhood facilities. This concept became the Mastenbrook Volunteer Matching Fund Grant Program which has been well-received by the public and has resulted in wonderful ideas coming to life.

Individuals or groups can apply for capital development funds for local park projects. This is a flexible program which allows volunteers to match funds or provide in-kind services. The target maximum amount of grant funding is $10,000 per project, and matching funds cannot exceed 50% of the total project cost. Individuals or groups can apply for capital development funds for a local park project. Organizations are limited to one approved project per fiscal year.

Each application is reviewed by park staff, which then makes a recommendation to the Park Authority Board. The Board makes the final decision on funding. The proposed projects must address Park Authority needs and must serve the general public. Project designs must meet all Park Authority standards and code requirements.

Neighborhood and housing associations, environmental groups, sports leagues, Boy Scouts, churches and individuals have received Mastenbrook funds for projects. For more information, contact the Park Operations Division at 703-324-8591.

FAIRFAX COUNTY PARK AUTHORITY
MASTENBROOK VOLUNTEER MATCHING FUND GRANT PROGRAM
WHO:

Fairfax County Park Authority
12055 Government Center Parkway, Suite 927
Fairfax, Virginia 22035-1118
Contact: Park Operations
703-324-8591

WHAT:

This program allows individuals or groups to request capital development funds to match volunteer group resources for projects to improve Fairfax County Park Authority parks and park facilities. The goal is to assist volunteers in improving county parks by matching their funds/in-kind services.

WHEN:

Applications for grant funds will be accepted at any time and will end when the funds are exhausted. Funding comes from the Park Bond Program, approved by county citizens through referendum in November 1998. Note: Projects that were begun or completed prior to receiving Park Authority approval are not eligible for Mastenbrook Volunteer Matching Fund Grant Program funds.

WHERE:

Projects must take place in a Fairfax County Park Authority park or facility

WHY:

This matching grant fund program for volunteer projects was first suggested by John Mastenbrook during the development of the 1998 Park Bond Program. Mr. Mastenbrook, a longtime park advocate, served on the Park Authority Board for 21 years. His vision was to establish a source of funds to match volunteer funds or in-kind services in an effort to encourage public/private ventures that improved county parks.

HOW:  Download and submit a  GRANT APPLICATION (PDF)

Park Authority staff will review each project and make recommendations to the Park Authority Board, which will make the final decision on funding. Projects will be reviewed using the following criteria:

  1. Proposals will be accepted anytime and ending when the funds are exhausted.
  2. Proposals will receive a response within 60 days of receipt. In situations where a park master plan modification is required, projects may be approved contingent upon final approval of the master plan.
  3. Proposed projects must address Park Authority service needs.
  4. Completed park improvement projects must be available to the general public.
  5. Proposed project scopes and designs must meet all Park Authority standards and code requirements.
  6. Project proposals must demonstrate which and how many citizens will benefit from the proposed project.
  7. Matching funds should not exceed 50% of the total project costs.
  8. The volunteer match may be in the form of in-kind services and/or cash.
  9. The Park Authority match will be primarily for materials costs.
  10. The target maximum amount of grant funding is $10,000 per project.
  11. Each individual or organization is limited to one approved project per fiscal year.
  12. The Park Authority Board must approve all projects.
  13. An approved project must have all funding in place six months from the date of Park Authority approval, otherwise the project is cancelled and cannot be resubmitted until all funding is in place.
  14. Proposals that have not received Park Authority approval within twelve (12) months of receipt of the application will be evaluated for viability.
MASTENBROOK VOLUNTEER MATCHING FUND GRANT APPLICATION (PDF)

Contact Fairfax County: Phone, Email or Twitter | Main Address: 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, VA 22035
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