OPRA Changing Lives One Playground at a Time – Butler

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Statewide Training & Matching Funds Application

Up to $2 million in playground matching funds are available for approved playgrounds across Ohio.

OPRA, PlayCore and GameTime are aligning resources and strategically partnering to promote best practices in parks and recreation, provide quality education and arm communities with evidence-based resources.  The goals of the initiative are:

  • Execute state-wide professional development events to offer training opportunities on current trends and research-based practices for play and recreation destinations.
  • Turn research into practice to demonstrate OPRA as an essential contributor to improving the quality of life of children, families and communities across the state of Ohio.
  • Provide funding opportunities to support the deployment of National Demonstration Sites across Ohio to create outdoor play and recreation spaces that align with evidence-based best practices.
  • Distribute publications and other advocacy tools to further champion play and recreation initiatives and report outcomes data.

PlayCore’s Center for Outreach, Research & Education, in partnership with their GameTime brand, will provide statewide professional development services and up to $2 million in matching funds to assist parks in Ohio agencies create play and recreation destinations that have been thoroughly reviewed to align with research-based best practices.  These projects will serve as national Demonstration Sites (NDS) and serve as national models for promoting physical activity, fitness, nature engagement and inclusion.  These projects will assist in providing outcomes and reporting that will be shared with OPRA and their members.  National Demonstration Sites promote advocacy at the community and state levels and collectively will provide resources that align with the mission and strategic plan of OPRA.


  1. Join a professional development event in October.
  2. Write an essay to describe your community playground needs and outcomes.
  3. Submit your completed essay to opra@opraonline.org by November 27, 2018.
  4. Winners will be selected and recognized at the 2019 OPRA Conference & Trade Show.

Essay Deadline:  November 27, 2018

Advocate for your community and put your training into action.  Write a 1000-2000 word essay to describe your community playground needs and expected outcomes.  Submit your completed essay by November 27, 2018 to opra@opraonline.org.

Celebrate State-wide

Winners will be selected and notified on December 4, 2018 to implement the OPRA Training and Funding Initiative.  To facilitate data collection, selected projects must be ordered by January 15, 2019, shipped by February 12, 2019 and installed by April 2, 2019.  Winners will be recognized during the 2019 and 2020 OPRA Annual Conferences.

Data Collection and Research

Conduct State-wide data collection to gather outcomes to be shared with the community through education and outreach.  Initial data will be shared with the community at the 2019 OPRA Conference.

Terms and Conditions

Matching funds must be used towards the purchase of a qualified playground structure.  Other freestanding play products are available at our best pricing through US Communities.

Representatives from OPRA, PlayCore and GameTime will select qualifying projects to be considered for playground matching funds.  Orders must be placed by January 15, 2019 through GameTime’s exclusive Ohio representatives.  Funding can only be applied to additional GameTime playground equipment purchases and only in conjunction with the original purchase.  GameTime standard policies and warranties as listed in the 2019 Playground Design Guide apply.  Freight, installation, surfacing and applicable sales tax are extra and not included as part of the matching funds.  To qualify for a 100% matching grant, list price of the qualifying playground system must exceed $60,000.  Matching funds are subject to rounding rules and may vary based on qualified purchase.  For award recipients who wish to bring fitness to their communities, separate funding will be available for GT Challenge Course with the funding amounts as follows: (Youth 3000 $10,000//Youth 4000 or Pro 3000 $12,500// Youth 5000 or Pro 4000 $15,000//Pro 5000 $20,000.)  Preconfigured adult outdoor fitness packages are also available – apply for up to $12,000 in funding for preconfigured outdoor fitness packages.  Freestanding playground products available to winners through US Communities.  No other offer, discount or special program can be used with this grant program.  All applications must be validated by the project administrator.  GameTime reserves the right to decline any application for an OPRA funding initiative.

October 25, 2018  |  9:00am – 1:30pm

Cost  Free

MetroParks of Butler County
Voice of America Park, Ronald Reagan Lodge
7850 VOA Park Dr.
West Chester, OH  45069

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