San Rafael, CA – Marin County Parks has worked hard to establish a reputation as welcoming organization for everyone to experience and enjoy its ultra-fun parks and majestic open space preserves. There is a special effort, however, to invite locals from Marin, and especially those from underserved communities and vulnerable populations.
Breathe/Respira grants are awarded to organizations that provide programs to underserved, high-risk, or vulnerable populations and promote health, wellness or environmental education.
Parks has done this through its Breathe (Respira in Spanish) Community Grant Program, designed to break down barriers faced by some residents in visiting the County’s outdoor facilities. Through February 24, local community organizations are invited to send in letters of interest in applying for the competitive grants that help eliminate those barriers.
“This is an effort to connect residents with Marin’s public lands for personal enjoyment and wellbeing, and through these relationships build awareness about free park outings, biodiversity, climate, land stewardship, and help to build intergenerational and cross-cultural community relationships,” said Kevin Wright, Parks’ Government and External Affairs Manager. “This program has helped us foster some outstanding partnerships with community organizations, and we are determined to keep up the momentum and keep welcoming new visitors.”
Breathe/Respira is funded by Measure A, a countywide quarter-cent sales tax otherwise known as the Marin Parks, Open Space, and Farmland Preservation Transactions and Use Tax Ordinance of 2012. In the seventh year of the program, Breathe/Respira is offering total grants worth approximately $200,000, with the maximum grant per organization at $30,000.
There are tiers of grants:
- Sprouts: Ranging from $1,000 to $8,000, these will support smaller existing projects and programs.
- Wings: Ranging from $8,000 to $30,000, these will support larger existing projects and programs.
Letters of inquiry will be reviewed this spring, and grants will be awarded in partnership with the Parks and Open Space Commission. They will be announced to the community following approval of grant agreements by the Marin County Board of Supervisors.
Grants are awarded to organizations that provide programs to underserved, high-risk, or vulnerable populations in Marin and promote health, wellness or environmental education in Marin’s neighborhoods. Eligible applicants include a town, city, county, 501(c)3 nonprofit, special district, joint powers authority, community group, community-based organization, or emerging or existing coalition.
All qualifying criteria and funding restrictions, along with detailed information about the program and grant decision-making process, are available in the Breathe/Respira Measure A Community Grant Program Overview on the Measure A webpage.
Parks and open space preserves across Marin are being cared for like never before thanks to Measure A. To find out more about the range of benefits this tax measure is bringing to your favorite outdoor places, check out the most recent Marin County Parks annual report at www.marincountyparks.org.