Parks and green space support public health, workforce development, local economies, the environment, and community cohesion. And yet, historic disinvestment has left many low-income communities and communities of color without quality parks and recreation opportunities. Federal and state park funding programs that prioritize investments in underserved communities contribute to closing the equity gap.
Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF)Using zero taxpayer dollars, the Land and Water Conservation Fund invests earnings from offshore oil and gas leasing to protect land and water for national parks, forests, and wildlife refuges, and to provide matching grants for state and local park and recreation projects. LWCF is administered nationally by the National Park Service within the U.S. Department of the Interior.Learn MoreEligibility for Accessing FundsFederal land management agencies
LWCF State and Local FundingThe LWCF State Side program provides matching grants to create and expand parks, develop recreation facilities, and further local recreation plans. All projects eligible to be funded through LWCF’s State Side program must reflect the policies and priorities of the state’s most current Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP). The first step is to contact the cooperating state office.Learn MoreMatch from other sources100%Park Funding UseCapital/Land AcquisitionEligibility for Accessing FundsPublic Agencies, including State, Local, and Tribal Governments, Districts
LWCF Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership (ORLP)The Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership (ORLP) program, established in 2014, is a nationally competitive grant program funded through the Land and Water Conservation Fund. The ORLP focuses on providing outdoor recreation in disadvantaged communities within urban areas. The National Park Service has funds available for land acquisition, new park development, or the renovation of existing parks, all with the goal of reconnecting people with the outdoors. The Department of Interior opened the seventh application round with more than $224 million in grant funding for local communities across the United States. This is the largest grant funding round since the launch of the program. Applications are now being accepted at Grants.gov through April 30, 2024 giving communities the chance to access these funds even sooner. Interested applicants should contact their LWCF state lead officer. Additional information can be found here.Learn MoreMatch from other sources100%Park Funding UseCapital/Land AcquisitionEligibility for Accessing FundsLocal governments, Tribal governments, Districts