Outdoor Visitor Safety Fund

Project Contact: Senior Administrative Analyst, Erika Seward

530-265-1572, Erika.Seward@nevadacountyca.gov

About the Program

The Outdoor Visitor Safety Fund (OVSF) was established to fund projects or programs that respond to the negative economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and promote health and safety at highly impacted outdoor recreation destinations. 

Nevada County recognizes the connection between the economic resilience of our community, the health of ecosystems, tourism, and outdoor recreation, and the timely opportunity to support community health, safety, economy, environment, and resilience. Nevada County experienced a significant increase in visitation to outdoor recreation destinations during the pandemic.  Without appropriate infrastructure, this increased visitation strains local resources, creating environmental and safety issues at lakes, river crossings, trails, and similar outdoor recreation destinations. 

Specifically, this project addresses the unmet need(s) at outdoor recreation sites to promote community health and safety, economic development, and resilience; and further the American Rescue Plan of America (ARPA) priority of “2.22: Strong Healthy Communities: Neighborhood Features that Promote Health and Safety”.

Funding Sources

The OVSF grant program will provide up to $850,000 in one-time grants to eligible entities. ARPA-eligible entities include nonprofit organizations, for-profit businesses, and special-purpose districts. State and Federal agencies may be eligible depending on available general fund monies.

  • The “Outdoor Visitor Safety Fund Grant” program, as presented to the Board at its January 2022 Retreat, is funded by $400,000 from the General Fund and $450,000 from American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds.
  • The first round of funding through ARPA resulted in  9 awards and $415,570 dollars given to local organizations to affect change in both Eastern and Western Nevada County. Learn more about those projects below. 

How Funds Can Be Spent

The County seeks proposals to the Outdoor Visitor Safety Fund for high-impact projects or programs that can be implemented in 2023 and/or 2024.  

  • Proposals must address unmet needs at outdoor recreation sites and promote public health and public safety; and should support economic development, enhance equitable access, promote environmental sustainability, address climate change adaptation, and promote resilience.  
  • Competitive proposals should be collaborative, highly leveraged, and “shovel-ready” for either the 2023 and/or 2024 recreation seasons. 
  • Outdoor Visitor Safety Fund grants are expected to range from $10,000-$100,000 and will be capped at $200,000.  

Eligibility Requirements

ARPA-eligible entities include nonprofit organizations, for-profit businesses, and special-purpose districts. State and Federal agencies may be eligible depending on available general fund monies. 


The RFP was released on February 8, 2023, with anticipated awards announced in June 2023. ARPA funds must be obligated (i.e., under contract) by 12/31/24 and funds must be expended with all work performed and completed by 12/31/26. 

Outdoor Visitor Safety Fund Round 2 Proposals and Awards Process

Request for Applications Open to Public, visit Purchasing  website - scroll to OPEN bids sectionIn Progress, due 3/15/2023
Application Technical Assistance Call February 10 & February 17 
Review Applications
Award ApplicationsMid-July
Funds DistributedMid-September
Project completionDecember 31, 2026

Outdoor Visitor Safety Fund Round 1 Proposals and Awards

  1. OVSF Round 1 Proposals & Awards
  2. Progress Reports
Outdoor Visitor Safety Fund 1st Round Grants
Project TitleFunding Awarded for Project Additional Information on Project
Bear Yuba Land Trust: Adam Ryan Preserve Parking Area$99,500COUNTY OF NEVADA - File #: SR 22-0789 (legistar.com)
Bear Yuba Land Trust: Trailkeepers$11,500COUNTY OF NEVADA - File #: SR 22-0798 (legistar.com)
Bicyclists of Nevada County: Harmony Ridge Trail System$13, 724COUNTY OF NEVADA - File #: SR 22-0790 (legistar.com)
Nevada Irrigation District: Scotts Flat Parking$18,000COUNTY OF NEVADA - File #: SR 22-0791 (legistar.com) 
South Yuba River Citizens League: River Ambassadors$16,705COUNTY OF NEVADA - File #: SR 22-0799 (legistar.com)
South Yuba River Citizens League: Golden Quartz Picnic Area Vault Toilets $46,371COUNTY OF NEVADA - File #: SR 22-0792 (legistar.com)
South Yuba River Citizens League: Wild & Scenic Trail Marker and Safety Signage Project$75,000COUNTY OF NEVADA - File #: SR 22-0793 (legistar.com)
Truckee Trails Foundation: Eastern Nevada County Visitor Safety & Environmental Hazard Prevention Program$109,370COUNTY OF NEVADA - File #: SR 22-0794 (legistar.com)
Truckee Trails Foundation: Visitor Safety & Environmental Hazard Prevention
$25,400COUNTY OF NEVADA - File #: SR 22-0800 (legistar.com)
Total Funding in Round 1: $415,570