PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The state is offering $5 million to help communities acquire or improve outdoor recreational facilities.

The Department of Environmental Management says outdoor recreation matching grants are available to help local municipalities and Native American tribes acquire, develop or renovate these facilities.

Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo says modernizing recreational facilities and creating greenspace in cities helps attract people to live in Rhode Island and start businesses here.

The environmental management department says more than 500 grants have been awarded and about $73 million has been invested in all 39 Rhode Island communities since the community recreation grant program began in 1988.

The application deadline for the 2020 grant round is Dec. 11. Funding is provided through the 2018 Green Economy and Clean Water Bond, approved by voters. Grant instructions are online .

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