LWCF Land and Water Conservation Fund


$6 million


Grant Limit



Match Requirement



The Land and Water Conservation Fund provides funding to preserve and develop outdoor recreation resources, including parks, trails, and wildlife lands.

Congress created the fund in 1965 with the passage of the Land and Water Conservation Fund Act, which authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to provide financial assistance to states for the acquisition and development of public outdoor recreation areas.

In 2014, Congress established the Land and Water Conservation Fund Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership program, which provides grants to help urban communities with 50,000 or more people buy or develop land to create or reinvigorate public parks and other outdoor recreation spaces. Priority is given to projects in economically disadvantaged areas that lack outdoor recreation opportunities. Each state may submit three proposals for national competition. Federal announcement coming soon.

Grant Application Schedule

Item Date

Technical Completion Deadline

Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership Program

February 3, 2020 

State and National Ranking

Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership Program

February 4, 2020 - May 30, 2020 Estimate

Grants Awarded by National Park Service

Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership Program

September 1, 2020 Estimate

Applicant Webinar, Applications Open

February 13, 2020 

Plan Due

A comprehensive plan is required to be eligible for a grant.

March 1, 2020 

Application Due

May 1, 2020 

Technical Review

June 4, 2020 - June 5, 2020

Technical Completion Deadline

July 13, 2020 

Project Evaluation

August 20, 2020 - August 21, 2020

Board Approves Preliminary Ranked Lists

October 7, 2020 - October 8, 2020

Board Awards Grants

July 1, 2021 Estimate

Grant Award History

Most recent grants and evaluation results, listed by the application year.

Application Resources

Grant Manual


Project Celebrations

Application Question Mapping Tool

Use this map to answer the evaluation question about “Need.”

Map of Washington State

Application Workshop February 13, 9:30-11:30 a.m.

This Webinar workshop will give participants information about grant programs, deadlines, requirements, changes for 2020, and how to apply for a grant. For those who cannot attend, please register anyway. We will send you a link to the recorded Webinar after it is posted on this Web page.

Register for the workshop here.

Typical Projects

  • Renovating community parks
  • Building skate parks, tennis courts, swimming pools, and trails
  • Protecting wildlife habitat
  • Building athletic fields

Who May Apply?

  • Local agencies
  • Special purpose districts, such as park and recreation districts
  • Native American tribes
  • State agencies

Planning Requirement

To apply for this funding, grant applicants must have completed a comprehensive recreation or conservation plan. See details on the planning page and in Manual 2: Planning Policies and Guidelines.


Funding is awarded every 2 years for the state program and the legacy program. Funding comes from federal government’s selling and leasing off-shore oil and gas resources.

Grant Limits

  • $500,000 State program
  • $750,323 Legacy program

Administrative Costs

Administrative costs are not eligible. Architecture and engineering costs for development and renovation projects are limited to 20 percent of the total development project cost.

Match Details

Match may include the following:

  • Appropriations or cash
  • Bonds
  • Donations of cash, land, labor, equipment, and materials
  • Federal, state, local, and private grants
  • Applicant’s labor, equipment, and materials

For local agencies, at least 10 percent of the total project cost must come from a non-state, non-federal contribution.

Eligible Projects

  • Land acquisition
  • Development or renovation

Ineligible Projects

Acquisition of the following:

  • Federal surplus property
  • Game refuges or fish production facilities
  • Historic sites and structures
  • Lands acquired from the federal government at less than fair market value
  • Land and facilities used primarily for semi-professional and professional arts and athletics
  • Land for indoor facilities, except for covered swimming pools and ice rinks
  • Land for agricultural purposes
  • Land to help meet a public school’s minimum site size requirement
  • Railroad hardware, trestles, stations, yards, etc.
  • Luxury lodges, motels, cabins, and similar elaborate facilities that serve food and have sleeping quarters
  • Museums and sites to be used for museums or primarily for archaeological excavations
  • Scholastic and intercollegiate facilities

Incidental costs relating to acquisition of real property or interests such as permits and surveys.

Long-term Commitment

All property acquired or developed with these grants must be kept forever exclusively for public outdoor recreation use.