Durham County Open Space Matching Grants Program

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The 2019-20 Matching Grants Application cycle will be open from

September 16, 2019 through Wednesday, November 13, 2019 at 5:00 pm.

To be added to the listserv, receive updates, or for project specific questions,

email grant administrator Brendan Moore at:  brmoore@dconc.gov.


A Durham County Program Providing Recreation and Open Space

The Matching Grants Program is designed to assist non-profit organizations in Durham County, both inside and outside the city limits, in preserving open space lands and promoting new or improved recreational opportunities for citizens of Durham County. Grant funds help provide public lands and outdoor recreational facilities through citizen initiative, support and involvement. Applicants must provide at least one half of the project's cost and manage all aspects of the project to accommodate public accessibility. Grant awards are made to new permanent programs and expansions of existing programs that meet a wide range of service provision criteria.

Grants are awarded competitively on a yearly cycle beginning in August with advertisements and announcements in newspapers, newsletters, emails, and mailing lists. Recommendations for funding are developed by the Matching Grants Committee and the Durham Open Space and Trails Commission (DOST) for action by the Durham Board of County Commissioners. The County enters into a contract with the successful applicant organization and the project work begins in the spring with a maximum of eighteen months for completion. The completed project is managed and maintained for public use as agreed to by the contracted organization and may be inspected or visited on a yearly basis by a representative of the County.

The application and program guidelines are available below for downloading. Please read the guidelines booklet before beginning the application process. Answers for questions, which come up during each stage of the process, should be available under the applicable section of the guidelines.

The application cycle of the Matching Grants Program for FY 2019-20 will be open from September 16, 2019 – November 13, 2019. Applications are due by 5 pm on November 13, 2019. For questions, please contact Brendan Moore, Open Space Land Manager, at (919) 560-7957 or email brmoore@dconc.gov.


The Matching Grants Program was developed by Durham County in 1990 under the guidance of the DOST through its Matching Grants Committee. The first years of the program were funded using a portion of the 1986 $1.5 million Durham County Park and Recreation Bonds. Funds to continue the Matching Grants program are approved on a yearly basis by the Durham County Board of County Commissioners.

Development of the Matching Grants Program became a DOST priority when determined to be a cost-effective way for the County to encourage and support additional open space, parks, trails, and recreation. It creates a partnership of public support with the many strong private efforts in parks and open space that have been on going for years in Durham County. The program is specifically for the benefit of Durham County residents.

The DOST welcomes your questions, comments and suggestions. The DOST as a volunteer citizen advisory board provides many valuable hours of committed service to the community but does not maintain an office. The best point of contact or source of information is the City/County Planning Department located at 101 City Hall Plaza, Durham, NC, 27701, telephone number (919) 560-4137. Request to speak with the planner knowledgeable of DOST activities and programs.

For specific assistance with Matching Grants information, applications, questions, materials, presentations, or communication with the Matching Grants Committee contact the Matching Grants Administrator, County of Durham, Engineering and Environmental Services Department, 201 East Main Street, 7th Floor, Durham, NC 27701, telephone number (919) 560-7957. You may also email brmoore@dconc.gov for information and assistance.