Project Outside Grant Application

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Roanoke Outside invites proposals to help us take care of our incredible outdoor assets. If you have an idea for improving our great outdoors, let us hear it.

Grants are made possible through individual and corporate donations made to the Roanoke Outside Foundation on behalf of Project Outside.


Established in 2020 by the Roanoke Outside Foundation, Project Outside is a community fund created to support outdoor capital improvement projects, maintain key outdoor assets, and help launch and support businesses in the outdoor sector.

Project Outside is a partnership between the Roanoke Outside Foundation and local land managers of identified regional outdoor assets. The intent of this grant is to serve as a flexible, adaptable tool to be used to fill maintenance funding gaps in projects or initiatives and pool resources to tackle new outdoor infrastructure projects, or assist businesses or organizations in the outdoor sector. Project Outside is designed to help ensure that outdoor assets remain in top condition for residents and visitors.

Learn more – and contribute – to Project Outside.

Applications accepted through January 30, 2021.

Grant Categories

Maintenance of existing identified key regional outdoor assets

  • Examples include tools/materials for repair, routine maintenance, repair damaged trail/greenway, fix river access points, replace damaged signage, parking lot  repair, etc.

New infrastructure projects

  • Examples include new trails, in-river kayak park, new river access points, signage, outdoor art, etc.

Support of for-profit businesses or non-profit organizations operating in the outdoor sector

  • Examples include new startup businesses, existing businesses negatively impacted by COVID, programs to improve equitable access to the outdoors, payroll expenses, etc.

Grant Amounts and Eligibility

Total amount to be awarded in Spring 2021 will be $100,000. It is our goal to continue raising funds for Project Outside and have additional grants in the future.

The breakdown is as follows: $60,000 allocated for maintenance of existing assets applicants, $25,000 allocated for new infrastructure applicants, and $15,000 allocated for support of new or existing outdoor organizations/businesses/programs.

Grant Amounts

  • $500 min, no max
  • This is a reimbursement grant meaning you will receive payment after the successful completion of your project. We can make other arrangements if this is not feasible for your organization.

What regional outdoor assets are eligible for funding?

Regional outdoor assets, identified by the Advisory Council, eligible for funding include Appalachian Trail, Blue Ridge Parkway, Carvins Cove, James River, National Forest Service trails, Roanoke River, Jackson River, Mill Mountain, Jackson River Scenic Trail, Explore Park, Smith Mountain Lake, Roanoke River Greenway, Philpott Lake, Waid Park, Rivers Edge Park, and Green Hill Park.

Eligible Projects/Expenses

Our goal is to make this as easy as possible. If you have a question about the eligibility of a project, give us a call or send us an email.

  • Priority is given to projects that can be completed by the end of 2021.
  • Grants do not require a match, however any new infrastructure applicants that have secured a match will receive priority.

Not Eligible

  • Food, marketing, giveaways, existing debt, or projects outside the defined region.
  • Operational expenses, unless applying for support of an outdoor business/organization/program.

Who Can Apply?

Applicants must be located within one of the following localities: Alleghany, Botetourt, Franklin, and Roanoke counties, cities of Covington, Roanoke, and Salem, or the town of Vinton.

  • Nonprofits having an active 501(c)3 status with the IRS.
  • Schools and non-profit education centers.
  • County, city, or town governments located in the identified area.
  • Land managers/owners of identified key regional outdoor assets.
  • For-profit businesses operating in the outdoor sector and located in approved area.
  • Individuals who see a need may partner with a non-profit or agency to apply. If you need a partner, let us know and we will connect you. You are required to provide a letter of support from the land manager/owner.

Dates and Deadlines

  • Deadline to apply: 11:59 pm EST, January 30, 2021.
  • Roanoke Outside Advisory Council reviews applications and scores them by February 11, 2021. Recommendations sent to Roanoke Outside Board of Directors for approval by February 19, 2021.
  • Award notification by March 15, 2021.
  • Project reports due no later than January 30, 2022.


Complete the application here.

Reporting Requirements

If awarded, the following reporting requirements are due no later than January 30, 2022:

  • Project impact statement (500 words max).
  • Finance report (document how you spent the grant, receipts, etc.)
  • No fewer than three (3) high-resolution photos and/or one high-resolution video (no more than two minutes in length) highlighting key components of your project. All submitted media assets, impact statements, and other materials, including those not explicitly listed above, may be used by Roanoke Outside in any and all manner, whether now or hereafter known, including, but not limited to promotional materials, newsletters, social media, and other print or electronic media. By submitting this application, you agree to honor these terms.


Reach out to Pete Eshelman,

Apply here.

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