County Launches Grant Program Providing $100K Per Year to Encourage Diverse Park Visitors

Funding for the grants comes from Measure A, and money is to be used to "... promote diversity among visitors to Marin’s parks and open space preserves."

Marin County Parks naturalist David Herlocker (kneeling) leads a hiking group.  Courtesy photo.
Marin County Parks naturalist David Herlocker (kneeling) leads a hiking group. Courtesy photo.

The following news release was submitted for publication by the County of Marin: 

The door is wide open for Marin agencies and organizations to apply for grants that would help ensure that all Marin residents have access to enjoy parks, open spaces and programs under the stewardship of Marin County Parks.


The new grant program, which will focus on aiding underserved communities, is supported by funding from a local tax measure known as Measure A – the Marin Parks, Open Space, and Farmland Preservation Transactions and Use Tax Ordinance of 2012. The competitive grant program, titled Breathe! (Respira! in Spanish) will provide about $100,000 per year over the next nine years to foster partnerships with organizations that promote diversity among visitors to Marin’s parks and open space preserves.


The Letter of Inquiry period is open through March 14 and will begin with a review and selection of grantees in partnership with the Parks and Open Space Commission. Organizations that serve high-risk or vulnerable populations in Marin and promote health, wellness or environmental education are urged to apply. Eligible applicants include community groups, nonprofits, towns, cities, special districts and joint powers authorities. All qualifying criteria reside on the County webpage.

“There are so many organizations that do stellar work in our communities, and we are excited at the prospect of working in partnership with them,” said Parks General Manager Linda Dahl. “We think this is an amazing opportunity for them to help us reach out to underserved residents and showcase recreational choices they have so close to home.”

The program is titled Breathe/Respira! because the Marin County Parks  believes outdoor recreation and connections with nature reduce stress and improve health. Marin County Parks will continue to engage partners to address of equity issues and barriers to enjoyment of its lands and programs.

Bob February 21, 2014 at 10:05 AM
My guess is that most folks that voted for Measure A didn't understand that the money would be used for things like this. It is like Novato's Measure F, once they have passed a new tax, they have to find ways to spend the money.
Elizabeth February 21, 2014 at 10:33 AM
Exactly! Measure A was sold to the voters as a way to protect "natural places, local parks and family farms." This is a noble effort, but not at all what most people thought they were voting for. Of course there's probably some BS vague text in the actual measure that they are using to justify this new program.
Jack February 21, 2014 at 10:35 AM
More tax dollars squandered on a feel good project that produces nothing.
Tom McEachern February 21, 2014 at 11:03 AM
Is this for real?
Diana Knight February 21, 2014 at 01:01 PM
voters are having good faith intentions altered and it's becoming all to common
Bubba six pack February 23, 2014 at 01:39 PM
So first we spend our tax dollars importing minorities from Richmond to fill our overbuilt AH in Hamilton, and now we're spending more to take them to the beach? I didn't go to the beach this year because I was too busy working to pay my mortgage. Now I have to pay for someone who doesn't work to go?
Bubba six pack February 23, 2014 at 01:45 PM
How about we take that wino from the median strip to the beach? Toss him in for his yearly bath. He makes about $200 a day for his habit, so if we leave him there, he can afford the cab back. Meanwhile we clean up the median strip he trashed.
novato 3per February 23, 2014 at 02:16 PM
"Underserved"? Define that word please.Who decides that, based on what, and how does the same resource available to us all require special promotion and targeting toward a particular group ( often not big taxpayers), at the taxpayers expense? You are suggesting there is something wrong with the current demographics of park visitors. Is someone actually tracking that or is it just someones opinion? If they are tracking that, is ut representative of anything other than the same demographics if the county?I voted to preserve farmland and open space, I did not vote for our money to be wasted trying to force someone to appreciate what's in their own backyard. If it was worth it to them, they would visit. The only exception I could see is if it were for disabled people. Otherwise, any other representatives of these so called "underserved" groups seem to serve themselves quite well to the benefits that matter to them. What is wrong with the visitors you currently receive to your parks, Marin? Is someone tallying the race and economic class of the visitors? If so, I do not wish to pay for that. Seems like a poorly disguised attempt to indoctrinate minorities into the eco-movement at the taxpayers expense.
Elizabeth February 23, 2014 at 02:20 PM
"environmental justice"
True American February 23, 2014 at 03:17 PM
If I get it, are we taking people who haven't worked since slavery was repealed back to the jungle?
True American February 23, 2014 at 03:19 PM
I only said that so i could be on Julia's list.
novato 3per February 23, 2014 at 03:25 PM
That one deserves to be flagged; ethnic slurs against.black americans disgust me.
novato 3per February 23, 2014 at 03:30 PM
Why don't you go watch "12 years a slave" and tell me if you think its funny, a hole. You'd like that done to your family, would you?
Tom McEachern February 23, 2014 at 06:01 PM
What in the world doesn't that mean?
novato 3per February 23, 2014 at 06:27 PM


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