6.3 – Parks And Recreation Assistance Available to Town Governments

Towns in Virginia have access to numerous state and federal assistance programs for the construction, improvement, and maintenance of parks and open spaces. State of Virginia funding is primarily available through the VA Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) — although, the VA Department of Forestry also has grants to improve tree canopies in parks. VA DCR works with Virginians to conserve, protect, and enhance lands; to improve the quality of rivers and streams and the Chesapeake Bay; to promote the stewardship and enjoyment of natural, cultural and outdoor recreational resources; and, to ensure the safety of dams.

If Massanutten incorporated into a town, some of the VA DCR programs that would be available include, but not limited to:

  • Technical assistance for town storm water management thru the Storm Water Management Program;
  • Administrative assistance with town erosion and sediment control ordinances thru the Erosion and Sediment Control Program;
  • Acquisition and/or development of public outdoor recreation areas via matching grants from the Land and Water Conservation Fund;
  • Creation and maintenance of trails (to include for biking) and trail facilities via matching grants from the Recreational Trails Program (funded through the Federal Highway Administration — where funds come from federal gasoline tax revenues); and,
  • Conservation of open spaces and parks, natural areas, historic areas, and forest preservation via matching grants from the Land Conservation Fund.

The VA DCR grant programs are competitive in nature and most require matching funds for each specific grant. Thus, the specific amount of funding that a town may receive is beyond the scope of this study.

If Massanutten incorporated into a town, it would also have access to federal funding programs for parks and open spaces primarily through the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). The FHWA Transportation, Community, and System Preservation Program (TCSP) provides financial resources to communities to integrate their transportation programs with community preservation and environmental activities. FHWA award grants for a variety of projects including those that improve conditions for bicycling and walking. The specific amount of FHWA funding that an incorporated town may receive were deemed beyond the scope of this study.