Park Authority

CONTACT INFORMATION: Open during regular business hours 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday - Friday
703-324-8740 TTY 711
12055 Government Center Pkwy.
Fairfax, Virginia 22035
Julie Tahan
Community Support Specialist

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Mastenbrook Grants: Good for Parks


The Park Authority is now accepting applications for Mastenbrook Grant projects. After an administrative review, the Park Authority Board has lifted the temporary hold on accepting grant applications and updated criteria for eligibility.

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 120 Mastenbrook Grant projects have been completed. There have been dog parks, playgrounds, athletic fieilds 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 $20,000 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. Each individual or group may be approved for more than one project per fiscal year, as long as the combined amounts of the approved grant funding does not exceed $20,000.

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 703-324-8594.

Download and submit a GRANT APPLICATION


Fairfax County Park Authority
12055 Government Center Parkway, Suite 927
Fairfax, Virginia 22035-1118

Submit applications to: Julie Tahan, Community Support Specialist
Park Operations Division


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.


Applications for grant funds will be accepted at any time and will end when funds are exhausted. Funding comes from the Park Bond Program, approved by county citizens through referendum.

Note: Projects initiated prior to receiving Park Authority grant approval may be ineligible for Mastenbrook Volunteer Matching Fund Grant Program funds.


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


This matching fund grant 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 Fairfax County Park Authority Board for 21 years. His vision was to establish a source of funds to match volunteer funds or in-kind services in order to encourage public/private ventures that improved county parks.


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--until funding is exhausted.
  2. Proposals will receive a response within 60 days of receipt. In situations where a park master plan modification is required, a project may receive approval 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 may 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 grant funds will be primarily for material or contractor costs.
  10. The target maximum amount of grant funding is $20,000 per project.
  11. An individual or organization may apply for more than one project per fiscal year, but the combined grant funds awarded may not exceed $20,000 within a fiscal year.
  12. The Park Authority Board must approve all projects.
  13. Funding for an approved project must be in place six months from the date of Park Authority approval. Otherwise the project may be subject to cancellation and ineligible for resubmission 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.
  15. Proposed project cost maximums must not exceed $100,000 to be eligible for grant consideration.



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