LWCF-ORLP Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership


$224 million


Grant Limit

$15 million


Match Requirement

50 percent


This program provides grants to help urban communities with 30,000 or more people to create or reinvigorate public parks and other outdoor recreation spaces.

Grant Application Schedule

Item Date

PRISM Opens for Application

December 20, 2023 

Application Due in PRISM

February 7, 2024 

Technical Review

February 12, 2024 - February 26, 2024

Technical Completion Deadline

March 27, 2024 

Plan Due

March 1, 2024 

RCO Submits Applications to National Parks Service

April 30, 2024 

National Parks Service Selects Grants for Award

If selected, additional application materials will be required.

November 1, 2024 Estimate

Grants Awarded

November 1, 2025 Estimate

Grant Award History

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

Application Resources

Grant Manual

The Land and Water Conservation Fund provides funding to preserve and develop outdoor recreation resources, including parks, trails, and wildlife lands. In 2014, Congress established the Land and Water Conservation Fund Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership (ORLP) program, which provides grants to help urban communities with thirty thousand 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.


Project Celebrations

Eligibility Resources

Climate and Environmental Justice Screening Tool: The purpose of the ORLP Program is to provide new or significantly improved recreation opportunities in urban, disadvantaged communities lacking access to walkable outdoor recreation (a.k.a. park deserts), consistent with the purposes and requirements of the LWCF Act and LWCF Manual. To meet ORLP objectives and goals, projects must be:

  • located within an incorporated city or town or unincorporated area having a population of 30,000 or more in the 2020 census (U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts: United States), and
  • located within a community (census tract) that is determined to be disadvantaged per the Climate and Environmental Justice Screening Tool (includes tract of project site and communities served)

Additional Application Resources

  • Application Question Mapping Tool is used to answer the evaluation question about “Need” in the Local Parks, Trails, and Water Access Categories.
  • Outdoor Recreation Inventory: The 2023 Outdoor Recreation Inventory map and dashboard includes information on more than 23,000 outdoor recreation areas, facilities, trails, and water access sites. It is used to understand the quantity and distribution of key outdoor recreation opportunities across the state. The dashboard also includes a service area analysis for outdoor recreation opportunities, such as accessing a local park or trail. 

Typical Projects

  • Renovating community parks
  • Building skate parks, swimming pools, and trails
  • Building athletic fields and sport courts
  • Nature-based projects that support recreation

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, applicants must have completed a comprehensive recreation or conservation plan. See details on the planning page and in Manual 2: Planning Guidelines.


An estimated $224 million may be appropriated by Congress nationwide. 

Grant Limits

$300,000 to $15 million

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 (very limited), 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

  • 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
  • Parks and sites that are receiving an LWCF formula grant, or that received an LWCF formula grant that closed within the past seven years, at the same park, even if the scope of the project is different
  • Parks and sites that already have received two previous ORLP awards, or additional ORLP funds to cover a cost increase of a previous ORLP grant project
  • 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.