The focus for CPA recreational projects is on outdoor passive or active recreation, such as (but not limited to) the use of land for:
Noncommercial youth and adult sports
Parks, playgrounds or athletic fields
CPA funds may not be spent on ordinary maintenance or annual operating expenses; only capital improvements are allowed. In addition, CPA funds may not be used for horse or dog racing facilities, or for a stadium, gymnasium, or similar structure. This prohibition has generally been interpreted to mean that CPA funds may be used only for outdoor, land-based recreational uses and facilities.
CPA funds may be used for the acquisition of land to be used for recreation, or for the creation of new recreational facilities on land a community already owns. A 2012 amendment to CPA broadened the law to also allow for the rehabilitation of existing, outdoor recreational facilities. The amendment made it clear that with respect to land for recreational use, "rehabilitation" could include the replacement of playground equipment and other capital improvements to the land or the facilities thereon to make them more functional for their intended recreational use.
Another change ushered in by the 2012 amendment was a prohibition on the use of CPA funds for the acquisition of artificial turf for athletic fields. Communities may still use their CPA funds for other aspects of a field project, but must appropriate non-CPA funds to acquire the artificial turf surface.