The Hennepin Youth Sports Program is currently accepting applications for the 2014 round offacility and fall capital equipment grants; applications are due by 4 p.m. Monday, Oct. 14.
The Youth Sports Program awards facility grants to municipalities, park districts or school districts to create, expand or improve athletic or recreational facilities to enhance opportunities for youth participation in the county.
Up to $2 million is available annually; facility grants range from $10,000 - $325,000. There is also $250,000 set aside for equipment grants ranging from $1,000 - $10,000 to purchase capital equipment related to youth sports activities and recreation.
Facility grants are awarded once each year, and are evaluated on:• Creating, expanding or improving athletic or recreational opportunities for youth.
• Partnerships among local government units and between local government units and nonprofit organizations.
• Ratio of the matching funds to the total project cost.
• Community support for the project. Number of youth served by the project and the characteristics of the user groups.
• Inclusion of environmental improvements.
• Sustainability, including the availability of ongoing operating and maintenance funds.
• Equitable distribution throughout Hennepin County.
Examples of potential projects for this type of grant include: baseball and softball fields; soccer, football and lacrosse fields; tennis courts; hockey rinks; playgrounds and skate parks.
Equipment grants are awarded in the fall and spring ($125,000 per cycle) and are evaluated on:• Number of youth served by the organization and the equipment user’s characteristics.
• Ratio of matching funds to the total cost of the equipment.
To the extent possible, grants will be awarded to a mix of various sports and recreational activities and distributed to communities throughout Hennepin County.
Examples of potential projects for this type of grant include: field maintenance equipment; pitching machines; goals; backboards; nets; sleds and dummies.
The Hennepin Youth Sports Program has distributed more than $11 million in funding to 64 capital projects and 84 equipment grant projects since the program began in December 2009.
The Twins ballpark sales tax, approved in 2006, funds the Hennepin Youth Sports Program and additional hours at 15 Hennepin County Library locations. Up to $4 million annually is dedicated between the programs.(Information provided by a Hennepin County press release.)