Recreation Area Development Program

The Recreation Area Development Program is an authorized program of the District to provide financial assistance to units of government (cities, counties, villages, and schools) to acquire land rights, design, establish, develop, and improve public recreation areas.

A. Criteria for Eligible Projects

  1. Each project must be sponsored by a city, village, county, or school with the statutory authority and capability to develop and manage public recreation areas and be located on publicly owned land.
  2. The recreation area, or park, must conform with the comprehensive plan for the municipality.
  3. Recreation that utilizes/develops natural resources are high priority.
  4. Eligible projects components:
    1. Development of a recreation area plan.
    2. Land acquisition (eligible only if recreation area is developed at the same time).
    3. Grading, seeding, and landscaping.
    4. Buildings and facilities (picnic shelters and restrooms). 
  5. Ineligible practices are: athletic fields, concession stands and landscaping around new buildings.
  6. Projects must conform with all local, state, and federal laws.
  7. Project Sponsor's labor, equipment or materials are not eligible project costs (must be contracted).
  8. First time applicants and low amounts of previous grants have priority over recent recipients. 

B. District Responsibilities

  1. Administer the Recreation Area Development Program.
  2. Review and prioritize, all applications for assistance.
  3. Reimburse Sponsors up to 50% of the eligible local costs (i.e., excluding state and federal funds) of an approved and completed project, up to a maximum $30,000 in District funds. Maximum payment for playground equipment is $10,000.00. Maximum payment for the purchase of trees is $50.00 per tree.
  4. The District reserves the right to approve or reject plans, specifications, implementation schedules, and entire project applications.

C. Sponsor Requirements

  1. The sponsor shall complete application on District's form 112a.
  2. The sponsor shall submit preliminary plans with the application. The following items should be included:
    1. Option purchase agreement (if applicable).
    2. Recreation area development plan.
    3. Itemized estimated cost.
    4. Implementation schedule.
    5. Location map.
  3. The sponsor shall execute the District's Special Project Operation and Maintenance Agreement, Form 112b, upon approval of funding and before starting work on the project.
  4. The sponsor shall obtain all necessary local, state, and federal permits.
  5. The sponsor shall agree to manage the area as a public recreation area for a minimum of 10 years.
  6. Upon completion of the project, the sponsor shall prominently display the plague acknowledging Lower Elkhorn NRD funding (provided by the District).
  7. The sponsor shall administer all contracts for design, construction, and construction observation for the project.
  8. The sponsor shall control all erosion on the site during and after construction.
  9. The sponsor shall hold and save the District free from damages or claims due to the construction, or operation and maintenance of the recreation area.
  10. The approved application becomes an agreement with the District, which includes these guidelines.
  11. The sponsor is encouraged to utilize recycled or recyclable products whenever practical or feasible.

D. Requesting Reimbursement

  1. Upon completion of the project, the Sponsor may request reimbursement from the District by providing a final report including:
    1. Letter summarizing the work completed.
    2. Listing of all project expenditures.
    3. Copies of all receipts, deeds, or easements
  2. The use of participant's labor, equipment or materials will not be considered a part of the grant project.