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Park and Recreation Mentorship for Rural Youth Impacted by Opioids
Frequently Asked Questions

Updated June 2021

Applicant Eligibility

We are a non-profit organization that partners with our local government. Can we apply?
The main applicant for the grant must be a local government agency that plans, builds and/or operates parks (e.g., municipal park and recreation department, tribal recreation department, park district), or an affiliated 501c(3) non-profit organization.

If the applicant is not a local government agency, the applicant is required to submit a letter of support for the project being proposed from the park and recreation agency director or equivalent.

Can our parks foundation serve as the fiscal agent?
Yes, the funds can be issued to a non-profit local park foundation, but the grant applicant must be a government agency.

Do we have to be a current member of NRPA or another organization in order to apply?
NRPA encourages membership to ensure that your agency has access to the full suite of education and resources available; however, you do not have to be a current member of NRPA or any other organization to be eligible to apply.

Are municipalities/organizations outside of the U.S. eligible to receive grants?
Grants will only be awarded to projects located within the 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories.

What types of agencies are eligible to apply?
All types of park and recreation agencies are welcome to apply, including municipal, county and park districts.

What type of community are you looking for and who is most likely to receive funding?
Successful agencies will demonstrate a clear commitment to developing and implementing an evidence-based mentoring program to prevent, reduce and address opioid use among youth 17 years and younger. Top candidates will have significant community involvement integrated into the planning, implementation and stewardship of the project. Successful agencies will also demonstrate a clear commitment to prioritize justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion.

We will be looking for a diverse set of communities and park and recreation agencies that will include a mix of:

• Varying population size and demographics of rural communities
• Geographic regions (rural Appalachia and New England)
• Location in a persistent poverty county or qualified opportunity zone
• Elected officials with differing party affiliations
• Existing youth programming
• Existing park and recreation and community assets to support youth programming
• Community-wide approach and commitment to addressing trauma, substance use and mental health disorders
• Community engagement strategies and practices to ensure youth and community voice are centered in program design

Grant Requirements

What are requirements for this grant?
Through this grant and coaching opportunity, awarded agencies will be responsible for several deliverables that result in a successful youth mentoring program. To accomplish this, we expect that agencies will:

• Join and participate in a grantee kick-off meeting and training series in Summer 2021.
• Join and participate in ongoing coaching and technical assistance calls and meetings (combination of individual, small group, and large group with NRPA, national partners and other local park and recreation agencies).
• Create a diverse mentoring program leadership team with community leaders and members and youth. Develop and implement a unique mentoring program, utilizing NRPA’s Youth Mentoring Framework and MENTOR’s Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring, focused on youth impacted by and/or are at risk for opioid use.
• Set a goal of reaching 35 youth and 25 adult mentors over the course of the grant.
• Develop mentoring program policies, practices and plans grounded in equity and a trauma-informed care lens.
• Participate in evaluation efforts that will include submitting biannual reports, administering pre- and post-surveys, and participating in focus groups.
• Attend a grantee training in 2022 (in-person or virtual).
• Host NRPA for a site visit (in-person or virtual) over the course of the grant period.

What are eligible expenses for these grant funds?
Grant funds may be used to cover items such as staffing, data analysis, consulting, community engagement, staff professional development, marketing costs, technology, recreational equipment, supplies for mentoring activities, etc. NRPA will require members of your team to attend a virtual grantee training series in Summer 2021 and in-person or virtual trainings in 2022and 2023. Each agency will be allowed to utilize grant funds to cover costs associated with attending the training (travel, lodging, food associated with travel, ground transportation). Please budget accordingly and list this expense as a line item on your proposed budget.

What are unallowable expenses for these grant funds?
Expenditures that support your mentoring program, such as transportation, technology, outdoor recreational equipment, games, activities, staffing, marketing, supplies, etc. are eligible expenses.

The funding cannot be used to purchase food or pay for entertainment costs (tickets to shows/sporting events, meals, lodging, etc.) unless it is clearly part of a mentoring program activities and approved by NRPA.

Is a grant match required?
No, a match is not required and there are no local requirements for funding.

Who should the statements of support be addressed to?
The letters must be provided electronically (email, a scan, PDF, etc.) and uploaded with your online application. It should be addressed to Senior Program Manager, Health and can but does not need to include NRPA’s Headquarters address:

National Recreation and Park Association
22377 Belmont Ridge Road
Ashburn, VA 20148

Who can I contact with additional questions about this grant opportunity?
If you have questions regarding this grant opportunity, please email mentoring@nrpa.org


How much involvement is expected with community-based organizations?

The community should play an extensive leadership role in the planning, implementation, and stewardship of the mentoring program. To do this, we highly recommend engaging community-based organizations in this proposal and partnering with them throughout and beyond this project for sustainability. Specifically, organizations representing local communities, as well as specific demographics such as youth, Black, Indigenous, Latino, Asian and Pacific Islander, LGBTQ+, New Americans (immigrants and refugees), low-income communities, substance use and mental health organizations, and individuals with physical/cognitive disabilities.

Types of partners may include, but are not limited to, other government departments such as schools, social service organizations, affordable housing developments, transportation, faith-based community, substance use and mental health organizations, youth-serving organizations, and advocacy or environmental/health justice organizations.

What are the details for the grantee workshops each year?
NRPA will require members of your team to attend a virtual training series in Summer 2021 and in-person or virtual trainings in 2022 and 2023. Each agency will be allowed to utilize grant funds to cover costs associated with attending the training (travel, lodging, food, ground transportation).
Final dates and information will be released when it is planned.

If my agency is not chosen this application cycle, will there be other opportunities to apply?
This is the only grant opportunity at this time. However, as NRPA looks to continue to grow and expand work addressing mentoring, substance use and mental health disorders, future opportunities will be added to NRPA’s Grant Opportunities page as they are available.

Key Term Definitions
Youth Mentoring – A consistent, prosocial relationship between an adult or older peer and one or more youth.

Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring – The six core standards of mentoring practice: (1) Recruitment, (2) Screening, (3) Training, (4) Matching and Initiating, (5) Monitoring and Support, (6) Closure (Definition taken from MENTOR)

Community Wellness Hub – Trusted gathering places that connect every member of the community to essential program, services and spaces that advance health equity, improve health outcomes and enhance quality of life.

Wellness – NRPA defines wellness as the optimal state of physical, mental, and social health for individuals and communities. Wellness comes from equitable access to opportunities, and the supportive, active, and evolving pursuit of activities, choices and lifestyles that lead to a state of holistic health.

Substance Use Disorder – Occurs when the recurrent use of alcohol and/or drugs causes clinically significant impairment, including health problems, disability and failure to meet major responsibilities at work, school, or home (Definition taken from SAMHSA)

Mental Health Disorder – A condition that affects a person’s thinking, feeling, behavior or mood. These conditions deeply impact day-to-day living and may also affect the ability to relate to others. (Definition taken from NAMI)

Persistent Poverty Counties – Counties that have had poverty rates of 20% or greater for at least 30 years.

Qualified Opportunity Zone – Economically distressed community where new investments, under certain conditions, may be eligible for preferential tax treatment.

Rural – NRPA defines rural based on the OMB “Standards for Delineating Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas.” The Census Bureau identifies two types of urban areas: Urbanized Areas (UAs) of 50,000 or more people and Urban Clusters (UC) of at least 2,500 and less than 50,000 people. “Rural” encompasses all population, housing, and territory not included within a UA.

Community-based Organizations (CBOs) – “a public or private nonprofit organization of demonstrated effectiveness that— (A) is representative of a community or significant segments of a community; and (B) provides educational or related services to individuals in the community.” – Cornell Law

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)
• Diversity: Differences in racial and ethnic, socioeconomic, geographic, and academic/professional backgrounds; people with different opinions, backgrounds (degrees and social experience), religious beliefs, political beliefs, sexual orientations, heritage, and life experience (Definition adapted from Racial Equity Tools)
• Equity: The absence of avoidable, unfair, or remediable differences among groups of people, whether those groups are defined socially, economically, demographically or geographically or by other means of stratification. Equity = Fairness and Justice (Definition taken from The World Health Organization)
• Inclusion: Authentically bringing traditionally excluded individuals and/or groups into the processes, activities, and decisions/policy making in a way that shares power, recognizes and celebrates differences, ensure that people feel welcome and everyone has the equitable access to opportunities. (Definition adapted from Racial Equity Tools)

In the context of the outdoor recreation world, check out American Trails’ “What and Why of JEDI.”

Restorative Justice – “a theory of justice that emphasizes repairing the harm caused by criminal behavior. It is best accomplished through cooperative processes that allow all willing stakeholders to meet, although other approaches are available when that is impossible. This can lead to transformation of people, relationships and communities.” – Centre for Justice and Reconciliation

Systems-change – Systems are the practices, policies and procedures of institutions, corporations, agencies and other organizations that influence the determinants of health, park access and environmental resilience. Improving systems—and the way they work together—is change approach to eliminating disparities in health, access and resilience. - Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Systemic Racism – “policies and practices that exist throughout a whole society or organization, and that result in and support a continued unfair advantage to some people and unfair or harmful treatment of others based on race. – Cambridge Dictionary

Resources on understanding systemic racism:
• RaceForward’s video series: What is Systemic Racism?
• An example of systemic and environmental racism: Flint Water Crisis

Trauma-Informed Care – An approach that assumes an individual is more likely than not to have a history of trauma. It recognizes the presence of trauma symptoms and acknowledges the role trauma may play in an individual’s life. - The Buffalo Center for Social Research