MRPA Foundation - Bridging the Past to Our Future

mParks Foundation “Play is Essential for All” equipment grant is intended to help mParks partners provide recreational opportunities for everyone in their community.

Award Specifications: Total of $20,000 available for 2023 project funding


  • Applications due December 30, 2022
  • Awardees notified the week of February 20, 2023
  • Awards will be presented and awarded during the 2023 mParks Conference & Trade Show
  • Project must be completed by November 2023

Applicant Requirements:

  • mParks member in good standing.
  • Submit completed grant application by December 30, 2022
  • Applicants have the option to submit an essay or video response to questions on the next page.
  • No financial match required.

If awarded a grant:

  • Funds must be used by November 30, 2023
  • Must provide recognition of mParks Foundation financial support
  • Must provide photo of equipment at the location.
  • Maximum grant amount available is up to $5,000 per agency

Equipment Specifications:

Grant monies must be used for new equipment that will assist your community in providing recreational opportunities for individuals of all abilities. Examples include (but not limited to) accessible equipment for swings, communication boards, kayaking, beach mats, bikes, picnic tables, etc.)


Funding for the 2023 Play is Essential for All Grant is made possible in part, by MI Big Green Gym.

MI Big Green Gym is a partnership between mParks, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.


2021 Award Recipients

Community Project Funding Amount
City of Ann Arbor Adaptive Paddling Gear for Kayaks $1,500
Eaton County Expression Swing Universal $2,000
East China Township Accessible Swing Set $800
City of Eaton Rapids Zero-G Swing Chair $500
City of Kentwood Recumbent Tricycle $2,500
City of Menominee Accessible Picnic Tables $500
Oshtemo Township Communication Boards* $2,500
Northwest Ottawa Recreation Authority Accessible/Sensory Equipment $2,500
Sanilac County Grill with Swivel Grate / Accessible Picnic Tables $1,000

$13,000 was funded by the Play is Essential Grant account (Virtual 5K proceeds and individual donations); $800 was funded from the general budget of the mParks Foundation.

*Assists with non-verbal communication promoting inclusion on the playground. 


mParks Foundation

Mailing: P.O. Box 27609, Lansing, MI 48909-0609 | 517-485-9888 | Fax: 517-485-7932