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Peer and Circuit Rider

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Guidance Documents

Ready-to-Go Checklist

Grant Instructions & Guidance Documents

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


Eligible and Ineligible Project Activities / Costs Policy

Partnerships Projects Details

Partnership Grant Administrative Instructions

Partnerships Forms and Guidance Documents

Step-By-Step Grant Instructions

Grant Workshop Tutorial Video

Peer & Circuit Rider Pre-application Tasks:

Contact James Young before you begin your application (Phone: 717-783-2712 / Email:
Read the grant program requirements, instructions, and guidance documents.
Conduct an evaluation of your organization’s guiding documents (strategic plan, annual work plan, management action plan, interpretive plan, etc.) to determine the specific project(s), work tasks, outputs, and outcomes you would like to accomplish with grant funding.
Contact your Bureau of Recreation and Conservation Regional Liaison to discuss your ideas.
Obtain an SAP Vendor Number and a DUNS Number.
Secure match and gain commitment letters from those providing match.
Calculate billable hourly rates for each position within your organization that will contribute to satisfying the project scope of work.
Have your governing body pass the grant resolution.
Establish a time-line to submit your application well before the deadline.

Eligible Project Types:

Peer Grants

Peer grants are awarded to help municipalities improve their park, recreation and conservation services through a collaborative process. Projects are accomplished through contracts with experienced park, recreation and conservation professionals from nearby communities who will work closely with local leaders. Examples may include projects that form new intergovernmental recreation and park agencies (which is a high priority for DCNR); improving management of a specific facility like a community center, trail or pool; conducting an overall management assessment of an agency’s park and recreation services; park and recreation board training and development, etc.

Match:  The applicant must provide at least a ten percent (10%) local cash match. Non-cash match is not accepted for Peer-to-Peer Projects.

Special Requirements and Conditions:

Discussion with DCNR staff is required before submission of an application.
The maximum grant award is $10,000.
DCNR staff will work with the grantee to develop a scope of work and select the appropriate peer consultant(s).
An elected official from each involved municipality is expected to participate in the planning process.

Circuit Rider Grants

Circuit Rider grants are awarded to initiate new programs and services for county(ies), Council of Governments and/or multi-municipal entities, that individually do not have the financial resources to hire a professional full-time staff person. The Circuit Rider’s purpose is to initiate new programs and services in the designated service area. The intended result of this project is to increase the ability of grantee to more efficiently and effectively meet their recreation, park, greenway, open space and/or natural resource conservation needs. The grantee will be responsible for the long-term financial commitment and maintenance of this professional position.

Match:  This is a four-year commitment of funding. Match is variable based on the year of funding. Eligible project costs include the circuit rider's salary only and Bureau-approved technical assistance and training expenses as follows:

Year- One: up to one hundred percent (100%) of gross salary.
Year- Two: up to seventy-five percent (75%) of gross salary.
Year- Three: up to fifty percent (50%) of gross salary.
Year- Four: up to twenty-five percent (25%) of gross salary.

Training Expenses up to $2,000 available for Bureau-approved training expenses over the four years. Typically, $1,000/year is requested in years one and two.

Mentoring Expenses up to $1,500 for a Bureau-approved mentor to assist a new Circuit Rider.

Special Requirements and Conditions:

Peer Review:  In most situations, the BRC will require a peer review to be successfully completed under our Peer grant program before approving an application for Circuit Rider funding. More information on the Peer Grant Program can be found on the DCNR website.
Discussion with DCNR staff is required before submission of an application.
Participating entities must provide local funds to cover the Circuit Rider's employee benefits for all four years, the balance of the salary in years two, three and four, and normal support services, such as office space and furnishings, training and travel expenses, clerical support, equipment, etc.
Grant funding in the second, third and fourth years is contingent on the grantee/Circuit Rider’s performance in the previous year(s) of the project, submission of acceptable requests for additional funding, and the BRC receiving an appropriation of grant funds.
In year five and beyond, the Bureau expects the local effort to continue on its own.

To be eligible for Circuit Rider funding, two or more municipalities must cooperate <strong>in a new intergovernmental effort by adopting an intergovernmental agreement. A single county can be eligible without an intergovernmental agreement providing the county is undertaking or has completed the appropriate recreation and/or greenway planning and will be providing services countywide to their residents and municipalities.

Circuit rider applications are accepted at any time. The application must come from a county, one municipality (representing multiple municipalities), a council of governments, an authority or an official agency created under the Intergovernmental Cooperation Law. In most situations, the Bureau will require a peer review under our Peer-to-Peer grants before approving an application for Circuit Rider funding. 

This Grant Program is administered by: Bureau of Recreation and Conservation

This Grant Program is funded by: Keystone, Growing Greener 1

Eligible Applicants include: County or Municipal Government