Skip to Content

The Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) receives voluntary contributions of income tax refunds from the Open Space Recreation and Conservation Fund. The fund is used to:

  • Acquire land for recreational purposes and preserve natural areas;
  • Develop, maintain and improve state park sites and facilities; and
  • Provide funds for local public bodies pursuant to the Virginia Outdoors Fund Grants Program.

Half the funds are granted to localities through the Virginia Outdoors Fund Grants Program. Most of these fairly small, 50 percent matching grants are used on small, local recreation projects in the state. Grants are awarded based on the availability of funds, hence there is no particular grant calendar cycle for awarding grants.

For more information contact the DCR, Division of Planning and Recreation Resources at (804) 786-3218.

Enabling Legislation

§ 58.1-345.1. Open space recreation and conservation voluntary contribution.

  • A. For all taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 1993, any individual eligible to receive a tax refund pursuant to § 58.1-309 may designate at the time of filing his return a specified dollar amount of such refund, no less than one dollar, to be used by the Department of Conservation and Recreation for the following purposes:
    1. To acquire land for recreational purposes and preserve natural areas;
    2. To develop, maintain and improve state park sites and facilities; and
    3. To provide funds to local public bodies pursuant to the Virginia Outdoor Fund Grants Program.
  • B. The Tax Commissioner shall determine annually the total amount designated on state income tax returns as voluntary contributions, and shall report such amount to the State Treasurer. All voluntary contributions collected pursuant to subsection A of this section shall be deposited into the state treasury. The State Treasurer shall credit the total amount collected to a special fund entitled the "Open Space Recreation and Conservation Fund." The moneys in the fund shall be allocated according to the following formula and used for the following purposes:
    1. One-half of such fund shall be paid to the Department of Conservation and Recreation for the purposes established in subdivisions A 1 and 2 of this section; and
    2. One-half of the moneys in such fund shall be paid to local public bodies pursuant to the Virginia Outdoor Fund Grants Program.