WWRP-Farmland Farmland Preservation-Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program


$7.3 million


Grant Limit



Match Requirement



The farmland preservation grant program provides funding to buy development rights on farmlands to ensure they remain available for farming in the future. Grant recipients also may use some of the funding to restore natural functions to improve the land's viability for farming.

The program is part of the larger Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program, which was created in 1990 to buy land for outdoor recreation and wildlife conservation, to keep pace with a growing population. In 2005, the state Legislature expanded the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program to include preservation of significant farmland.

Grant Application Schedule

Item Date

Applicant Webinar, Applications Open

February 13, 2020 

Applications Due

June 1, 2020 

Technical Review

June 17, 2020 - June 18, 2020

Technical Completion Deadline

August 5, 2020 

Project Evaluation


September 14, 2020 - September 15, 2020

Board Approves Preliminary Ranked Lists

November 5, 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


NEW – The 2020 Evaluation Meetings are in process! View the meetings live on YouTube at the link below (Note: some meetings are live streams and others are recordings).

Changes Due to the Coronavirus

RCO understands that grant applicants may need more time to complete their applications in light of COVID-19. RCO has made the following changes to its Farmland Preservation WWRP grant application process:

  • Grant application deadline extended from May 1 to June 1. In the next few weeks, RCO will adjust some of the other deadlines.
  • All project evaluations will be Web-based. There will be no in-person meetings and the evaluation committee will work remotely as well.
Project Celebrations

Application Workshop Webinar

This Webinar workshop and Q&A will give participants information about grant programs, deadlines, requirements, changes for 2020, and how to apply for a grant.

Typical Projects

Buying a conservation easement on farmland threatened with development

Who May Apply?

  • Cities
  • Counties
  • Nonprofit nature conservancy corporations or associations
  • State Conservation Commission


Funding comes from the sale of state bonds and is awarded every 2 years.

Grant Limits

No grant limits, except for the following:

  • Enhancement and restoration elements may not exceed more than half of the total acquisition costs, including match toward acquisition.
  • Farm stewardship plans may not exceed $10,000.

Match Details

A 50 percent match is required, except for the state Conservation Commission, which has no match. Match may include the following:

  • Appropriations or cash
  • Bonds
  • Donations of cash, land, labor, equipment, and materials
  • Other grants
  • Applicant’s labor, equipment, and materials

Eligible Projects

  • Land acquisition through easements and leases (required for all projects). Public access is not required.
  • Enhancement or restoration, such as installing fences to keep livestock out of streams, replanting riverbanks, restoring historic water runoff patterns, improving irrigation, and installing solar well pumps. These activities must further the ecological functions of the farmland.
  • Combination of land acquisition and either restoration or enhancement
  • Stewardship plans

Ineligible Projects

  • Acquisition of rights for less than 25 years, of land already owned by the government, or of property acquired via a condemnation
  • Consumable supplies such as fuel, fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides, except as a one-time application in an otherwise eligible restoration activity
  • Elements that cannot be defined as fixtures or capital items
  • Environmental cleanup of illegal activities, such as meth labs
  • Indoor facilities
  • Organizational operating expenses or overhead
  • Purchase of maintenance equipment, tools, or supplies
  • Restoration work done before a grant agreement is signed
  • Transfer of development rights

Long-term Commitment

Land must be kept and maintained for farmland for at least 25 years. Development rights may not be transferred.

More information is in Manual 7: Long-term Obligations.

Other Application Resources

2020 Application Webinar
Application Webinar Q&A