NY SWIMS funding for Municipal Swimming Facilities

As Part of NY SWIMS Initiative, Governor Hochul Announces Up to $90 Million Available for Municipal Swimming Facilities in Underserved Communities

First Round of Funding Now Available for Municipal Swimming Facilities; Grant Applications Due by July 12

small child swimming Governor Kathy Hochul recently announced the first round of funding is available from the new $150 million NY SWIMS capital grant program. Governor Hochul secured this funding in the FY 2025 Enacted Budget to expand access to safe swimming opportunities for New Yorkers, address equity gaps, and provide resources for communities facing extreme heat. The first application round will make up to $90 million available for municipal swimming facilities in underserved communities across New York State. The remaining NY SWIMS capital funding will be made available during subsequent application periods.


“Drownings in New York State have reached record levels in the last few years, and our kids are particularly vulnerable,” Governor Hochul said. “Through NY SWIMS, we’re making sure that all New Yorkers know how to swim through the largest statewide investment in swimming since the New Deal. We look forward to municipalities taking advantage of this opportunity to create new ways to provide children and their families safe spaces to learn how to swim and prevent childhood drowning.”

Included in Governor Hochul’s FY 2025 Enacted Budget and State of the State proposals, the program offers grants between $50,000 and $10 million to acquire, design, construct or reconstruct facilities, provide major renovations, improvements, and modernization or rehabilitation of swimming facilities and natural swimming areas. The Request for Applications for the first round of funding have been posted at www.dasny.org and www.parks.ny.gov.

Application period begins June 13, 2024

The first application period for the NY SWIMS capital grant will open on June 13, 2024, and applications must be submitted by July 12, 2024. Awards are expected to be announced no earlier than August 28, 2024. Applications will be evaluated on characteristics of projects’ need, impact, and viability.

NY SWIMSNY SWIMS grants will require applicants to provide a 20 percent matching contribution towards the overall project cost. In addition to various costs to develop swimming areas, NY SWIMS funds are also available to support ancillary projects, including splash pads, concession stands, picnic areas, and playgrounds. Funds for these costs are limited to 10 percent of grants awarded for any individual project.

Recognizing that drowning is the leading cause of death for children ages 1-4 and that climate change will increase extreme heat events, NY SWIMS will build out municipal swimming facilities in high-need areas, connect New Yorkers to the State’s rivers and lakes, deploy pools in urban environments, and invest in State parks and pools. It will also promote initiatives to help more New Yorkers swim safely by addressing the statewide lifeguard shortage, increasing swimming instruction, and increasing amenities at pools and beaches.

The Governor’s Office, NYS OPRHP and DASNY are committed to helping potential applicants prepare competitive applications. The open application question period begins on May 1, 2024. A Webinar video will be posted on the NYS OPRHP and DASNY NY SWIMS Websites (www.dasny.org and www.parks.ny.gov) on May 15, 2024. This video will address questions received by May 10, 2024 and review the RFA and application process. Questions received after the Webinar Video has been posted on May 15, 2024, and prior to 5:00 p.m. on May 29, 2024, will be made available on the same websites by June 12, 2024. Details regarding the submission of questions are provided in the RFA and on the NYS OPRHP and DASNY websites. All potential applicants are strongly encouraged to review the RFA, ask questions, and view the Webinar as the New York Statewide Investment in More Swimming initiative (NY SWIMS) Grant Application process will be explained in the Webinar Video.

As New York State Parks celebrate their Centennial in 2024, NY SWIMS also reverses decades of disinvestment to ensure public parks offer new, state-of-the-art swimming facilities which can serve thousands of daily visitors.

Disparate access to safe and convenient opportunities for swimming has denied far too many New Yorkers the chance to engage with the water and learn foundational water safety skills. Drownings in New York State have reached record highs in recent years, claiming the lives of 230 New Yorkers in 2021 (the last year data is available) and more than 1,000 New Yorkers from 2017 to 2021. Drowning now ranks as the leading cause of death among children aged one to four years old in the United States, and it is the second-leading cause of death for children aged 5 to 14. Without equitable and widespread access to safe swimming opportunities, fewer people will develop foundational swimming and water safety skills, more people will swim in unsafe waterways without lifeguards, and more preventable drowning deaths will continue to occur each year.

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