Summary of Improvements to the new May 14, 2021

Outdoor Equity Program Application Guide

Background:  The list below summarizes changes to the prior 12.30.2020 Draft Application Guide posted at

To request a copy of the new Application Guide, dated May 14, 2021, please email

These improvements to the prior 12.30.2020 draft are now included in the May 14, 2021 Application Guide.

Program Overview Section in the new 5.14.2021 Application Guide

  1. Increased maximum grant request amount to $700,000 per application. The minimum grant request amount remains at $20,000.
  2. Provided examples of a Community Home Base.
  3. Clarified that Grant Administration Workshops will be provided in regions throughout the State after grant awards are announced.

Application Checklist and Program Selection Criteria Section in the 5.14.2021 Application Guide  

  1. Criterion #1 – Community Home Base.  In the Technical Assistance section for Criterion #1, clarification is provided that the Community Home Base should be strategically located near where a majority of the targeted population lives in the underserved community for ideal access. Some participants may also commute from a further distance to the Community Home Base which may especially be the case in rural areas.  However, travel distance and poverty are two factors known to affect access to more distant locations.

In part B, the applicant will be able to describe challenges in the community which contribute to the need for the requested grant funding.  For rural areas where participants may need to commute from their neighborhoods to further distances to reach the Community Home Base, applicants will be able to explain why it is still easily accessible from their rural neighborhoods. 

  1. Criterion #2 – Community Based Planning for the Outdoor Program.  Reduced and simplified the 5-point maximum goal. Now, only 20 residents, instead of 45, need to be engaged in total to plan the Outdoor Program.  Keep in mind that in other grant programs for park design, the average number of planning participants has been approximately 100 residents per project.  And, this program will depend even more on an applicant’s ability to engage residents.  Providing the goal of 20 residents combined through 2 meetings provides clear standards for applicants to reach statewide.  Otherwise, applicants tend to ask “What are you really looking for?  How many meetings should we have?  How many people do we need to engage during planning?”
  2. Criterion #3 – Outdoor Program Goals.  Clarified the question about the “education” plan for both “activities in the community” and “natural area trips.”  Also added an area to describe estimated costs per activity/trip as a basis for planning the grant request amount.  
  3. Criterion #4 – Service Learning, Career Pathway, and Leadership Opportunities.  Simplified the criterion by removing the hour calculation per person and reduced the number of residents in the scoring chart.  Instead of number of hours, there is now value on giving residents experience that can be used for future employment resumes or college admissions.  Examples are listed in the technical assistance section.
  4. Criterion #5 – Partnerships.  Listed “Fiscal Sponsor” in the technical assistance section as a type of partnership that can qualify for points.  The eligible applicant/grantee could be the fiscal sponsor of community groups that do not have formal 501(c)3 status.  The community groups can conduct activities on behalf of the fiscal sponsor, while the fiscal sponsor is responsible for grant administration and ensuring program compliance.    
  5. Criterion #6 – Mentoring Youth After the Grant Performance Period. This has been changed to optional.  An applicant may now score the same amount of points for explaining why the concept cannot be achieved after the grant performance period, compared to providing a plan to mentor youth. 
  6. Grant Scope/Cost Estimate Form – simplified the instructions to only one page, and consolidated the cost estimate forms into only one form.  Added a place for “insurance Premium” to encourage applicants to budget insurance cost.
  7. Photos of Community Based Planning Meetings – changed this from an application checklist requirement to “optional.”

Eligible Costs Section in the 5.14.2021 Application Guide

  1. Added more clarification for “Pre-Award Planning Costs” and “Post-Award Activity Costs” plus added clarity to the definitions of these terms in the definitions section.
  2. Clarified eligible “Transportation costs” to include use of charter services, renting vehicles, or charging mileage to the grant for vehicles owned/leased by grantee.  State rate is cited for charging mileage for use of grantee’s vehicles.
  3. For other travel costs, cited state rate for overnight accommodations during travel to natural areas based on the county.
  4. For current internship (labor) rules, added link to California’s Division of Labor Standards and Enforcement.
  5. Added Insurance Premium reference

Comments on the above improvements may be emailed to by Friday, May 28, 2021. 

An application period including Application Workshops will be announced soon if the May 14, 2021 Application Guide is finalized.