The Parks Program offers financial assistance to communities for the development or improvement of natural resources in nature areas, campgrounds and park facilities. This program is available for any city, town, county or school located in the district. The district is not considered the lead agency in park development, but will assist in the funding.
The district will consider—on a case-by-case basis—providing cities and villages with planning and financial assistance for multi-use parks and recreation improvement/development that encourages tree planting, creation of wildlife habitat, open spaces and other enhancements of natural resources.
Public use areas that conserve soil and water are to have priority. Sports facilities are to be planned and funded by others.
To help reduce damages from flooding, the District promotes publicly-owned linear parks, greenbelts and other open spaces by offering planning and financial assistance to counties, cities and villages. It is district policy to cooperate with county, state and federal agencies in developing public use areas where such activities are consistent with District priorities and goals.
Applications are available at the NRD. Return completed applications to the District for consideration. Include sufficient detail in the application to adequately explain the plans and to justify the expenditure of funds.
- The applicant must be a village, town, city, county or school located within the District. Volunteer groups, service clubs, etc. are not eligible to receive NRD park funds, although their efforts are to be encouraged. Their participation should be coordinated through the local unit of government making the application.
- The applicant is to sign an agreement with the District which includes the following conditions:
- The applicant will administer the project.
- The applicant will handle contracts and vendors as necessary.
- The project will be designed and built to meet appropriate park, safety and building code requirements for public facilities.
- The applicant has or will acquire title to or long-term lease or easement for the property on which the facility is or will be located.
- The applicant will operate and maintain the facility. NRD funds are not available for operation or maintenance.
- The facility will be for the use and enjoyment of the general public.
- The NRD funds will be paid to the applicant upon completion of each approved phase of the project and upon satisfactory final inspection and acceptance by the NRD of each phase.
- The applicant is to proceed in a timely fashion with the project and will submit claims for payment for work completed by July 1 of the current fiscal year. Failure to do so may result in nonpayment.
- The applicant will complete the project within five years of the date that the application is approved by the NRD. Failure to do so may result in nonpayment and cancellation of the NRD’s participation.
- The following minimum points must be incorporated in the lease or easement:
- The time period remaining on the lease must be at least equal to the life of the facility. An option for renewal would be desirable.
- The lease cannot be revoked at will by the lessor.
- There must be a provision in the lease for continued operation and maintenance responsibilities by the sponsor.
- A legal description and map of the area to be leased must be provided.
- Both parties to the lease should agree that the land being leased must be retained and used for public outdoor recreation for the duration of the lease or the life of the facility.
- The lease should state if any non-public uses (for example, grazing or farming) will occur within the limits of the lease.
- NRD approval of the application is not contingent upon state or federal financial assistance. However, the applicant is encouraged to make use of state and/or federal funds whenever possible.
Funds Available to Communities
- NRD Cost-Share: The district will fund up to 25% of the local share, of the estimated or the actual costs, whichever is less. A maximum limit of $10,000 in NRD funds can be approved per applicant per year. The amount of district funds available is dependent upon the annual budget.
- State Cost-Share: Funds may be available. Check with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.
- Federal Cost-Share: 50% grants may be available. Apply through the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.