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Recreation Oriented Grants

Grant programs

The Land and Water Conservation Fund Act of 1965 established a federal reimbursement program for the acquisition and/or development of public outdoor recreation areas. Since the LWCF began 45 years ago, Virginia has received more than $76 million in Fall trail shot.assistance. It has made more than 400 projects possible. The LWCF is a 50-50 percent matching reimbursement program. The grant recipient must be able to fund 100 percent of the project while seeking periodic reimbursements. Learn more about the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership Program

The National Park Service (NPS) State and Local Assistance Division has set aside $3 million of the FY 2014 appropriations for Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) State Assistance grants for a new nationally competitive grant program called the Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership Program (ORLPP). State and local government agencies and federally recognized Indian tribes are invited to submit proposals for matching grants to support projects that would acquire or develop public land for outdoor recreation purposes located within or serving jurisdictions with a population of 50,000 or more and consisting of densely settled territory.

As the agency responsible for the LWCF State and Local Assistance Program, DCR is soliciting projects for nomination to NPS for funding consideration as required by ORLPP. DCR is allowed to nominate two projects. DCR will select one state project and one local project for nomination. The minimum grant request amount is $250,000, and the maximum is $500,000. Grants require at least a 1:1 match from state, local or private sources. Projects assisted with LWCF funds may not include funds from other federal sources, even if all programs’ match requirements are met. All projects selected for assistance through this program must comply with the Land and Water Conservation Act. All property for which such assistance is received must be maintained in perpetuity for public outdoor recreation. The deadline for submitting a proposal is 4 p.m. on July 21, 2014. Learn more about the Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership Program.

The Recreational Trails Program (RTP) is a reimbursement grant program for the creation and maintenance of trails and trail facilities. DCR administers the program, which is funded through the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). Grants may go to registered nonprofit organizations, city governments, county governments or other government entities but must be considered in accord with guidance from the Virginia Recreational Trails Program Advisory Committee. The RTP requires that 30 percent of trail program funds be used for motorized recreational trail uses, 30 percent for non-motorized recreational trails uses, and 40 percent for proposals with the greatest number of compatible recreational purposes and/or those that provide for innovative recreational trail corridor sharing (multiple-use trails). Learn more about Virginia Recreational Trails Program.

The Virginia Land Conservation Foundation was established to help fund permanent conservation easements and to purchase open spaces and parklands, lands of historic or cultural significance, farmlands and forests, and natural areas. State agencies, local governments, public bodies and registered (tax-exempt) nonprofit groups are eligible to receive matching grants from the foundation. The purpose of the foundation is to provide state funding used to conserve certain categories of special land. Those categories are open spaces and parks, natural areas, historic areas, and farmland and forest preservation. Learn more about the Virginia Land Conservation Foundation.

Additional funding opportunities are available at