What projects are eligible for matching funds?

Matching funds are available for capital projects at parks, open spaces, and properties managed by DCR. Capital projects generally include construction and/or restoration of physical features on state land and the planning required for such projects, including resource management plans. They do not include land acquisition, staff, or operational maintenance activities. DCR staff shall be responsible for the design and management of all Matching Funds projects.

What type of contributions can be matched?

DCR will match only monetary contributions. In-kind donations of materials, services, and labor, while appreciated, are not eligible for this matching funds program. DCR will match private contributions from individuals, organizations (e.g., Friends groups, civic organizations), institutions or businesses, or non-state governmental entities (e.g., federal, municipal). It will not match contributions by other Massachusetts state agencies.      

What types of projects will be approved?

Partnership projects may include major field reconstruction, building restorations, interpretive signs, planning efforts, and more. DCR will consider a 2:1 match on contributions of up to and including $25,000 and a 1:1 match on those of more than $25,000.

Generally, eligible projects are reviewed with the following considerations:

  • Projects that address the deferred maintenance needs of the agency are strongly encouraged.
  • Projects should contain detailed, realistic cost estimates, ideally prepared after consultation with a planning or engineering professional, and DCR staff.
  • Projects should meet management goals of DCR as expressed by a master plan, management plan, or by agency staff in the absence of such plan.
  • Partnerships formed to support a DCR capital project’s long-term maintenance requirements are strongly favored.
  • Projects with solely aesthetic benefit are a lower priority for agency approval.
  • Projects, when complete, must not infringe on public use and enjoyment.
  • DCR will consider applications for projects that may require more than one fiscal year to plan and complete.

How will the project be managed?

DCR will manage all Partnership Matching Funds projects. The project officially begins when the partner’s contribution is received at the agency.

The project will be assigned a manager at DCR to work with the partner(s). The project manager will oversee hiring of the contractor or vendor if one is needed. Hiring must comply with applicable state procurement laws regarding bidding and contracting. The project manager will conduct meetings with the partners, as well as other parties whose input is necessary to carry out the project. DCR strongly urges partners to refrain from engaging vendors in any work, as they will not be the managing entity in these projects and will not be reimbursed for any project expenditures.

Once an application is approved, what further reviews and approvals are required?

The agency partner will seek appropriate public participation in partnership decisions to promote a shared sense of responsibility for public resources and environmental assets. If necessary, which is often, a public meeting will be held to discuss any proposed partnership projects that involve character-altering changes at a property or facility under the agency’s stewardship.  For smaller scope projects, the agency partner may consult with other stakeholders with an interest in the project, especially stakeholder groups formed to support a particular park, beach, reservation, or forest.

All DCR projects shall comply with applicable laws and/or policies pertaining to public review and comment. Some projects may require review and/or approval of another agency (e.g., Massachusetts Historical Commission, local conservation commissions, environmental reviews). DCR will be responsible for securing these approvals.

Will partner contributions be publicly recognized?

All partners will receive a Certificate of Appreciation from the Commonwealth for their contributions, and their contribution will be recognized in any publicity about the project that is distributed by DCR. DCR will also work with partners to organize a public event commemorating the completion of their project.

What is the process for projects that require Bidding?

In cases where goods or services procurements must be conducted, DCR must follow the rules established by the Operational Services Division (OSD) as regards fair and competitive procurements. For vertical or horizontal construction, procurements must follow the guidelines of Ch. 149 or Ch. 30, as applicable.

Many goods and services are available to eligible entities from OSD's Statewide Contracts. For many services, OSD master service agreements (MSA's) provide broad lists of vendors, from which 3 proposals must be solicited. The contractor offering the best value, as defined in your scope of services, is awarded the project. Goods and Services not available on statewide contract must be procured by creating a Request for Response (RFR) according to OSD requirements.

DCR will manage all such procurements. Non-governmental Partner organizations will not receive any state funds for this purpose, and will not be reimbursed for any project expenditures. Please see Operational Services Division website for additional information.

For additional information and guidance on any type of procurement related to this program, please contact the DCR Director of Contract Administration and Procurement.