Frequently Asked Questions

Question: Is this program open to only IRS recognized non-profits?

Answer: Yes, currently only non-profit organizations, recognized by the IRS and the State of North Carolina are eligible for this matching grant program.

Question: How detailed does my application need to be to be approved?

Answer: The more detail and thoroughness will allow the Committee to make more efficient and informed decisions. If areas of clarification are noted, the Program Administrator will contact the requesting organization for more information.

Question: What types of projects will be approved for matching funds?

Answer: Playgrounds, walking trails, land acquisition with intent to preserve open space, recreational facilities (disc golf courses, soccer goals, etc.) are examples of projects that have been previously funded. Generally speaking the program is seeking to fund projects that support the missions of preserving greenspace, developing walking trails, or recreational areas (to include playgrounds).

Question: We need to refurbish or repaint our existing playground equipment, will this be approved for funding?

Answer: Additions to existing projects are eligible, however work to rehabilitate existing projects are not. In other words, the project must offer a new recreational amenity or opportunity to be considered.

Question: We want to add benches, picnic tables, or a new bathroom for our open space area, are these items eligible for funding?

Answer: No, these projects standing alone would not be considered as they are not directly related to recreation or the core mission of this program. However, if part of the project (less than 50%) includes these items, then the overall project would certainly be considered.

Question: Will Durham County provide insurance to cover volunteers or citizens interacting with our project?

Answer: The requesting agency is responsible for insuring the project and must provide the level of coverage that the County requires.

Question: When will I hear if my agency’s project has been approved?

Answer: Once an application is accepted, the Committee will meet in early December to start the decision process (questions may be filtered back to the requesting agency during this time), and final decisions are usually made in January, with Board of County Commissioner approval in early February. All timeframes mentioned herein are estimates and are not a guarantee.

Question: Our agency just completed a new playground; can we seek funding to reimburse us for these costs?

Answer: Only projects commenced after approval of the final contract are eligible for funding.

Question: Who makes the decision to approve our request?

Answer: The Matching Grants Committee makes recommendations for funding to the Durham Open Space and Trails Commission. The Durham County Board of Commissioners provides final approval.

Question: I have more questions, or need some help with the application?

Answer: Please feel free to contact David Ades (program administrator) in the Durham County Budget and Management Office for any questions you may have. (919) 560-0012 or For specific questions regarding project eligibility or suitability, you may contact Brendan Moore in the Durham County Open Space Program. (919)-560-7957 or

For more FAQ's, please check out our brochure: Open Space Matching Grants FAQ's