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, as well as proceeds from the annual GO Outside Festival.


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 (think hiking, biking, paddling, camping, fishing, etc.).

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.

To date, Project Outside has funded 24 different projects to the tune of $150,000. The third round of grant funding is now open with $25,000 to allocate.

Applications we due on January 21, 2024. We are currently reviewing application.

Grant Categories

Maintenance of existing identified key regional outdoor assets ($15,000 in available funding):

  • 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 ($6,250 in available funding):

  • Examples include new trails, new river access points, signage, outdoor art, etc.

Organizational support of for-profit businesses or non-profit organizations operating in the outdoor sector ($3750 in available funding):

  • Examples include new startup businesses, existing businesses expansion, programs to improve equitable access to the outdoors, etc. Businesses/organizations/programs must be directly tied to outdoor recreation (e.g. hiking, biking, camping, paddling, fishing, climbing, etc.).

Grant Amounts and Eligibility

Total amount to be awarded in Spring 2024 will be $25,000. It is our goal to continue raising funds for Project Outside and have additional grants in the future.

The breakdown is as follows: $15,000 allocated for maintenance of existing assets applicants, $6,250 allocated for new infrastructure applicants, and $3,750 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, just let us know.

Outdoor Assets Eligible for Funding:

You project must be related to one of the outdoor assets listed below. The only exception is if you are applying for Organizational Support category, which then must be related to outdoor recreation and located in our funding footprint (see locality list below).

Outdoor assets located in the Roanoke Region, identified by the Advisory Council, eligible for funding are: Appalachian Trail, Blackwater River, Blue Ridge Parkway, Carvins Cove, Craig Botetourt Scenic Trail, Explore Park, Green Hill Park, Jackson River, Jackson River Scenic Trail, James River, Mill Mountain, National Forest Service trails, Philpott Lake, Pigg River, Read Mountain Preserve, Rivers Edge Park, Roanoke River, Roanoke Greenways (Tier 1), Smith Mountain Lake, and Waid Park. Please note projects must be located in one of the following localities: Alleghany, Botetourt, Franklin, and Roanoke Counties, Town of Vinton, Covington, Roanoke, and Salem.

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/implemented by the end of 2024.
  • 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 21, 2024.
  • Roanoke Outside Advisory Council reviews applications and scores them by February 7, 2024.
  • Recommendations sent to Roanoke Outside Board of Directors for approval by February 15, 2024.
  • Award notification by March 15, 2024.
  • Project reports due every six months.


We’re sorry. We are no longer accepting grant applications at this time.

Reporting Requirements

If awarded, the following reporting requirements are due no later than January 30, 2025:

  • 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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