LWCF Land and Water Conservation Fund

Funding

$20 million

Details

Grant Limit

$4,800,000

Details

Match Requirement

50%

Details

The Land and Water Conservation Fund provides funding to preserve and develop outdoor recreation resources, including parks, trails, and wildlife lands. There are two separate LWCF programs:

State Program: 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. All communities may compete for funding in this program.

Legacy Program: 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.

Grant Application Schedule

Item Date

Applications Due

Legacy Program

July 21, 2021 

Technical Completion Deadline

Legacy Program

September 10, 2021 

National Ranking

Legacy Program

October 1, 2021 - March 31, 2022 Estimate

Grants Awarded by National Park Service

Legacy Program

October 31, 2022 Estimate

Applicant Webinar, Applications Open

State Program

February 17, 2022 

Plan Due

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

March 1, 2022 

Application Due

State Program

May 3, 2022 

Technical Review

State Program

June 8, 2022 - June 10, 2022

Technical Completion Deadline

State Program

July 19, 2022 

Project Evaluation

State Program

August 24, 2022 - August 26, 2022

Board Approves Preliminary Ranked Lists

State Program

October 31, 2022 estimate

Board Awards Grants

State Program

June 30, 2023 estimate

Grant Award History

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

Application Resources

Grant Manual

Announcements

Project Celebrations

Application Question Mapping Tool

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

Map of Washington State

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 Guidelines.

Funding

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

  • $25,000 to $500,000 State program
  • $300,000 to $4,800,000 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.

Other Application Resources

2020 Application Webinar
Application Webinar Q&A