Funding Opportunity: Energizing Tween Scenes

Funding Overview

The goal of this funding opportunity is to promote and support quality physical activity for tweens (defined by the Foundation as children between the ages of 10 and 14) by increasing access to tween-focused outdoor public spaces designed to encourage physical activity.

As children reach their tweens, physical activity continues to be important for good mental and physical health. While playgrounds positively influence physical activity, expand social interaction, and increase sense of community ownership, often, they may not be appealing to older children. A tween-focused outdoor physical activity environment is inviting and challenging, has age-appropriate activities that are physically and mentally challenging, and allows tweens to bond with friends at the same time.

Grant Deadline: Not accepting applications. This work is in progress.

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Have questions? Contact your Program Officer for more information.


We often partner with third-party evaluators, contractors and other organizations over the course of our work with applicants and grantees. Your application and its attachments may be shared with these individuals or entities during the review process and grant cycle. All third-party organizations partnering with the Foundation have signed a confidentiality agreement and will not use or share the information for purposes outside of the scope of work specific to the grant application or grant award. If you have any concerns or would like additional information, please email or call our Director of Grantmaking Operations at 303.953.3600.

Age: While the physical activity space must serve tweens (defined by the Foundation as children between the ages of 10 and 14); the space should include opportunities to serve the whole family and be accessible to tweens of all abilities.

Need: Preference will be given to proposals from organizations constructing a tween-focused physical activity space in high-need areas as determined by one of the following pieces of community data:

  • The Foundation will consider grant requests from communities serving a significant number of tweens from economically disadvantaged households, including low-income earners and working-class families, or
  • The Foundation will consider grant requests from communities that do not have appropriate tween-focused physical activity space within one mile in an urban area and 10 miles in a rural area.

Community Engagement: Applicants must provide a plan showing how tweens and other members of the community will be included in the planning, implementation and maintenance of the space and how the space will reflect the whole community.

Attractive to Tweens: Applicants must provide their ideas for how they will make the outdoor space appealing to tweens, considering the type of equipment, the spatial arrangement, and how the applicant will cultivate a fun and inviting culture.

Activation: Applicants must provide a plan showing how they will draw neighborhood tweens and other community members to the space as a community attraction and destination during their free time.

Accessible: The space should include equipment and materials that suit a range of tween’s needs; that is inclusive of those with physical, intellectual, and sensory impairments; and supportive facilities and amenities.

Admittance: If on school grounds, the tween-focused physical activity space must be open to the general public during non-school hours.

Technical Assistance:

Applicants may be asked to work with a consultant who has experience designing tween-focused outdoor physical activity spaces. The consultant will make sure the space is attractive and appealing to tweens.

Such a space couples encouraging activities that are physically and mentally challenging with an opportunity to bond with friends. Specialists consider not only the type of equipment that will be installed but also the spatial arrangement of the features so that there are several ‘pods’ of activity in a clear, uncomplicated, and unambiguous layout.

Associated Measurable Results:

Applicants will be asked to indicate how their work will numerically increase the number of underserved Coloradans who have convenient access to recreational physical activity, including the number of children in this age group (10-14 years old) or number of tweens in the neighborhood.

Note: The criteria and funding policies are guidelines, not requirements. Please contact the program officer if you would like to explain your circumstances or specific community needs. We are happy to talk to you about your ideas and whether they align with the funding opportunity.

What We Will Fund

Fixed Infrastructure: Funds can be used to purchase tangible, immovable, age-appropriate, outdoor equipment and necessary associated surfacing that encourages physical activity among tweens.

Ground Markings: Funds can be used to support costs associated with painting the ground with colorful, engaging and stimulating game and activity patterns that encourage physical activity.

Community-Based Planning: Funds should be used to meaningfully engage tweens, parents and community members in planning and designing the space to facilitate ownership and empowerment.

Signage: Up to 5 percent of funds can be used to purchase and install clear and identifiable signage and information in and around the area to draw people into the park and encourage use by community residents.

Promotion: Up to 5 percent of funds can be used for promotional materials and events, including flyers, newsletters, brochures, and a one-time groundbreaking ceremony to activate people to use the space.

Weather Protection: Up to 5 percent of funds can be used to purchase structures for sun, rain and snow protection, including canopies and trees, to encourage year-round use of the space by tweens. 

Amenities: Up to 5 percent of funds can be used to purchase outdoor furniture such as tables, benches, and grills; build bathrooms; construct parking lots; address safety issues, or provide other amenities as long as they support social accessibility.


What We Will NOT Fund

Freestanding Equipment: Funds cannot be used for freestanding equipment such as balls, bats, nets, jump ropes, parachutes, weights, and other movable, non-stationary equipment that would require storage.

Athletic Courts and Fields: Funds cannot be used to build fields, courts, or pools for specific sports that may discourage non-athletic tweens, such as baseball, basketball, football, lacrosse, rugby, soft ball, soccer, tennis, or swimming.

Fitness Stations and Trails: Funds cannot be used solely to purchase and install fitness stations and trails if they will be the main attraction and focus of the space, unless clearly identified as a desire by the majority of tweens at the school or in the surrounding neighborhood.

Programming: Funds cannot be used for ongoing programming such as fitness classes, dog-training classes, photography classes, sports camps, festivals, movie nights and other community gatherings, beyond a short period of time for activation.

General Maintenance: Funds cannot be used for the maintenance of existing resources related to landscaping, surfacing, trash, paint, drainage, hardware, sidewalks or other maintenance in isolation from the purchase and installation of the equipment.