The Greater Minnesota Regional Parks and Trails Commission (GMRPTC) announces the upcoming availability of funding application for Fiscal Year (FY) 2021. All park and trail facilities in the GMRPTC System may begin their online applications on April 8, 2019. The application portal will close on August 2, 2019.
"We are excited to learn about the great projects cities and counties in the Greater Minnesota Regional System will be pursuing in their applications for funding," said Renee Mattson, Executive Director of the GMRPTC. "Last year we received 21 applications and were able to provide funding for 11 of them. That's nearly a dozen communities that will see significant improvement to their outdoor recreation facilities thanks to the Clean Water, Land & Legacy Amendment."
There are some changes coming to this year's application system that potential applicants should note.
System Plan Coordinator Joe Czapiewski said, "Every year we learn from the previous year, making changes to our funding guidelines and adding tools or information to our application portal that will help applicants to be successful. Applicants should be sure to review the Funding Criteria and Guidelines carefully to make sure they understand it. They can also make sure of the extensive information and directions available at every point of the online application with the simple click of a button."
Applicants for Regionally Designated facilities will be able to start a funding application attached to their facility's Master Plan in the Data Management System, found HERE.
The recently updated Funding Guidelines and Criteria are attached, or can be found in the Application Toolbox HERE.
Additional tools, such as updated tutorials and application content guides, are in progress and should be available by the time the application portal opens. If you have any questions, please contact Czapiewski at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Since 2015, city and county parks and trails managers in Greater Minnesota have been using the Greater Minnesota Regional Parks and Trails Commission’s Data Management System (DMS) to apply for designation to the regional system. The DMS is an online-only application portal that manages all three steps of the application process – Designation Applications, Master Plans, and Funding Applications.
The DMS can be found on the Commissions website here: https://www.gmrptcommission.org/applications.html.
Having an online application system has eliminated costly and confusing paper applications while providing more up to date and useful information for the user. “The online DMS portal gives us a way to make sure applicants have real time, on-screen access to the instructions and samples they need. Our goal is to help applicants be as successful as possible without barriers caused by the system itself,” said Joe Czapiewski, GMRPTC System Plan Coordinator. “Applicants are even encouraged to use the system’s messaging feature to more effectively stay in touch with Commission staff.”
Greater Minnesota cities and counties can access Legacy parks and trails funding through a three-step system. First, submit an application for designation as a regional park or trail in the DMS. This simple application asks you to describe how you think your park or trail meets the Commissions criteria for regional designation. Tutorials and guidelines for applications and master plans can be found in the Application Toolbox at https://www.gmrptcommission.org/application-toolbox.html. If you can’t find answers there, contact Commission staff for further assistance.
If the facility is found to have merit, applicants will then complete a qualified unit Master Plan. The purpose of the Master Plan is to lay out the vision and details necessary to fully score the plan against the criteria and to create a guide for the development of the park to its fullest potential. A number of new sample Master Plans have recently been uploaded to the application webpage. At the end of a thorough, multi-step evaluation, the Commission may designate the facility as a part of the regional system.
A successfully designated park or trail may then apply for funding. Funding applications are open on the portal starting approximately April 1st every year, and must be submitted by the end of July. Complete instructions, budget worksheets and a resolution template are available in the toolbox. Check out the Commission’s annual legislative report (https://www.gmrptcommission.org/2019-report.html) for more information about past funding recipients!
Questions? Please contact Commission staff or your Commissioners (https://www.gmrptcommission.org/commission-members.html) to find out more.
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