Oregon Parks Foundation Fund

NEXT APPLICATION WINDOW: JANUARY - FEBRUARY 2022

The Oregon Parks Foundation was founded in 1975 with the primary purpose of creating and augmenting natural parks in the state of Oregon. For nearly fifty years, its mission has been to support the acquisition, preservation and restoration of Oregon’s native landscape, and to assist with environmental, recreational, and educational improvements to Oregon’s public parks.

In 2009, the Oregon Parks Foundation became the Oregon Parks Foundation Fund (OPFF), a community advised fund of the Oregon Community Foundation (OCF).  It continues with the same long-standing vision, and invites proposals from nonprofits and public agencies at the local, community, district, county and regional level.

Grants Program

Applications are made to OPFF for review by its Advisory Committee which in turn makes funding recommendations to the OCF Board.    OCF board-approved grant applications are then disbursed by OPFF.  Grants are generally in the range of $1,000 to $5,000; larger grants may be considered for unique or special applications.

Eligibility

The Oregon Parks Foundation Fund requests applications that support the acquisition of natural parks, the restoration of native habitat, and act to strengthen educational opportunities, such as ecological interpretive programs, within Oregon parks.  Projects that enhance the outdoor experience, such as trail construction and interpretive signage, are also favored.

Competitive applications should demonstrate one or more of the following qualities:

  • Strong connection to parks and/or publicly accessible and undeveloped native land.
  • Strong park-related educational component for youth and/or adults.
  • Promotes connectivity (land acquisition and trail projects).
  • Strong community-based support (e.g., participation from other donors; volunteers; in-kind donations; collaboration with other agency partners, school districts, etc.).
  • Provides park opportunities and access for underserved communities (e.g., low-income, minority and rural populations).
  • A project where a grant from OPFF will clearly make a difference (e.g., close the funding gap or leverage other sources of support).

The committee accepts applications from private, tax-exempt nonprofits and public agencies within the state of Oregon, with a preference for smaller community-based organizations.

The Oregon Parks Foundation Fund does not make grants for the following types of activities or expenses:

  • Projects based outside Oregon.
  • Requests for operating support, including ongoing administrative and program expenses.
  • If the proposed application is for a large capital project and an OPFF grant would not be impactful.
  • One-time excursion activities.
  • Deficit financing and debt retirement.
  • Recreational facilities such as fencing, soccer fields, swimming pool construction, ball field lighting, sewer and water systems, landscaping or maintenance.
  • Projects likely to be long delayed.

Application Guidelines

The application window opens annually on January 1. Applications are due by March 8. 

Applications are accepted through MyOCF. Please review the RFP document for guidance before beginning your application.

Applicants will be notified in writing after the application has been acted on by OCF's board.

Required Attachments

Several additional items are requested to accompany an application:

  • A cover letter providing a brief introduction and description of the intended project.
  • A project graphic or photos.
  • A copy of the applicant’s 501(c)(3) tax determination letter.

Grantee Reporting

Applicants receiving a grant from the Oregon Parks Foundation Fund will be expected to report on the use of the funds nine months following the award date. Reports are available here, and should be sent to reports@oregoncf.org.

Staff Assistance

For more information, please contact:

Recent Grant Awards