Funding for Parks and Greenways

How are parks and greenways paid for?

Last Modified: November 28, 2012

Parks and greenways are funded through the city’s Capital Improvement Program (CIP). The CIP is the city’s five-year financial plan that analyzes major facility needs, projects fiscal resources, establishes priorities, and develops schedules for the acquisition and construction of capital facilities. The Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Department’s CIP primary sources of funding come from Parks and Recreation Bonds, Facility Fees, General Fund (Tax Base), grants and donations.

Parks and Recreation Bond Referendum Program

The Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Department’s primary source of revenue for the development of new facilities comes from voter approved bond referendums. Projects are approved by the Raleigh City Council and put on a ballot for voters to approve. The three most recent Parks and Recreation Bond Referendums were 2000, 2003 and 2007. In addition to Parks and Recreation Bond Referendums, greenways have been funded through the 2011 Transportation Bond. In 2012, three specific parks and recreation projects were funded through a two-thirds general obligation bond. Two-thirds bonds are a long-term financing option available to local governments in North Carolina under state law. The bond total can be up to two-thirds of the amount by which the municipality reduced its outstanding general obligation indebtedness in the preceding fiscal year.

Facility Fee Program

The City of Raleigh’s Facility Fee Program assesses impact fees to residential developers when new homes are being built in Raleigh. The Facility Fees are used for two different purposes in Raleigh, Transportation and Parks and Recreation projects. The fees collected must address projects related to new growth in the City. The City must spend $1 for every 50¢ collected in the geographic area they were collected in.

General Fund (Tax Base)

The Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Department receives a nominal annual transfer of revenue from the City’s General Fund (Tax Base) in order to develop and maintain its facilities.


The Parks and Recreation Department actively applies for Federal, State, Local, Private and Non-Profit grant opportunities. In many cases, these grants require a match and allow the Department to leverage its resources. Grants that have been received include, CWMTF, PARTF, LWCF, and RTP.


Public and private donations are welcomed by the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Department. Donations are accepted in the form of money, time (volunteering), and park amenities, such as benches and trees, as well as land donations. The City of Oaks Foundation is a 501(c)(3) private foundation that was formed to accept major donations including land, monetary, and other donations.

Get Involved

The City Council traditionally holds a public hearing on the Proposed Budget after its first regular meeting in June. Council meetings, public hearings and work sessions are held in the Council Chambers of the Avery C. Upchurch Municipal Complex, 222 West Hargett Street, Raleigh, NC 27601.

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