A SHARE of $17 million of grant funding is up for grabs for community groups that use Crown land thanks to the NSW Government.
The funds are available via the state government's Crown Reserves Improvement Fund and can be used to improve facilities including sporting fields, showgrounds and recreational centres that use Crown land.
Each year, the state government opens applications for the funding, but this year the funds will be focused on helping communities recover from challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic, bushfires and floods.
NSW Water, Property and Housing Minister Melinda Pavey said applications for the funds were now open and could go towards supporting a variety of community organisations.
"Crown reserves play a critical role by protecting the environment and providing green open spaces for parks, ovals, walking, cycling and sports and recreation activities to keep communities healthy and happy," Mrs Pavey said.
"They also provide affordable and secure land for a wide range of community-focused organisations including surf life-saving clubs, scouts and girl guide groups, the RSPCA, PCYC and State Emergency Services, among others.
"Grants are on offer to support projects on Crown reserves that can deliver social, environmental, cultural and economic benefits to local communities."
As well as supporting community recovery, Mrs Pavey said this year's funds would also have an eye to promote projects that contribute to greater water and energy efficiency as well as sustainability.
"We are also focusing on projects that can support Aboriginal communities and interests through co-management of Crown land, and greater recognition and education on Indigenous cultural heritage," she said.
NSW Planning and Public Spaces Minister Rob Stokes said local councils and community organisations, groups and trusts that manage and use Crown land reserves across NSW including showgrounds could apply for the funds.
"Grants are available to maintain and develop recreational and tourism facilities on public reserves for community use and enjoyment," Minister Stokes said.
"Community organisations and trusts can apply for full grants to cover the cost of maintenance and upgrade projects on reserves they use and manage.
"Funding is also available for bushfire, weed and pest management to ensure we have safe and functional public reserves that protect our native plants and animals."
Applications for the Crown Reserves Improvement Fund close on June 25.
For more information about the Crown Reserves Improvement Fund or to apply visit reservemanager.crownland.nsw.gov.au
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