T.C.A. §§ 11-9-201, et seq., establish a program of matching recreation grants to cities and counties. Grants are for a three-year period and must be used to hire a recreation director, establish a recreation office, and hire other needed personnel. In the first two years, the community must match up to $50,000 from the state. In the third year, the community must fund the program completely or repay the state. Grants are awarded annually, with one award generally made in each grand division. Multi-government proposals have priority.
Park Acquisition Grants
T.C.A. § 67-4-409(a) and (i) impose a real estate transfer tax of 37 cents per $100 and earmark revenues from 1.75 cents to create a local parks acquisition fund. The fund provides matching grants to purchase land for parks, natural areas, and greenways and for capital projects in those areas. Grant funds may be matched with land not previously used for park purposes, rather than money. Up to 3.5 percent may be deducted from the fund to cover administrative expenses. The environment and conservation and agriculture commissioners and the Wildlife Resources Agency director promulgate regulations, set priorities, and approve each grant.
The Department of Environment and Conservation also manages procedures for awarding federal grants from the Natural Resources Trust Fund. T.C.A. §§ 11-14-301–307.