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RECREATION PLANNING

Land and Water Conservation Fund Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What are examples of eligible LWCF projects?

Projects that are eligible include land acquisition for new parks and facility construction, or for both, and projects addressing the renovation of public parks for outdoor recreation.

  • Public Outdoor Recreation Land Acquisition
  • Public Outdoor Recreation Land Acquisition and Facility Development
  • Public Outdoor Recreation Facility Development

Who may apply?

Eligible grant recipients include cities, towns, counties, Native American Tribes, regional park authorities and state agencies. Private individuals and organizations, including nonprofit and charitable organizations, are not eligible for funding assistance, although they may be participating partners. All eligible applicants compete equally for LWCF funds.

What is the total funding available for 2014?

About $1.2 million is available. Half will be used on eligible local projects and the other half will be used on eligible state-agency projects. If the state project requests are insufficient, remaining funds will be used for local projects.

What are the maximum and minimum grant award funding levels?

The total maximum grant award request amount will be $500,000 (total project cost, $1,000,000). The minimum is $300,000 (total cost, $600,000).

How many grants will be awarded?

We anticipate that three to six awards will be made. The number depends on how many applications are received and the award amounts requested.

Are matching funds required?

Yes. The LWCF program is a 50-50 matching reimbursement program. Project sponsors do not receive grant funds at the time of approval. The sponsor must, in essence, incur 100 percent of the total project cost; submit evidence of eligible expenditures and request reimbursement from DCR.

What is a Letter of Commitment?

The Letter of Commitment is a letter from a willing seller of property or donor of, materials and/or services. The letter shows the intent is real.

What is the application deadline?

It's 4 p.m. on June 5, 2014. Deliver four complete copies of the entire application plus an entire electronic version on CD or flash drive to DCR at 600 E. Main St., Richmond, VA 23219. Postmarks, faxes and email submissions will not be accepted. Applicants are responsible for effecting delivery by the deadline time and date. Late submissions will be rejected without consideration.

Are there any long-term commitments associated with this program?

Yes. Properties acquired, improved or developed with LWCF assistance must be retained in perpetuity for public outdoor recreation. Other commitments include proper maintenance and operation, nondiscrimination, facilitation of audits, the posting of a Land and Water Conservation Fund Acknowledgement sign and ensuring the integrity of the 6(f) boundary. More information on grantee compliance and commitments is described on the Program Requirements page.

What does in perpetuity mean?

It means forever. Park land and facilities developed with LWCF assistance must remain as public outdoor recreation facilities forever. Grant recipients must place restrictive working in the deed of the park that the property is protected in perpetuity in accordance with the Land and Water Conservation Act. Reimbursement won't be made without evidence that such property restrictions have been recorded in local court records.

What is the 6(f) boundary?

Legally speaking, the 6(f) boundary is the metes and bounds of the area being protected in perpetuity by Section 6 (f) (3) of the Land and Water Conservation Fund Act of 1965. Section 6(f) (3) states that the property acquired, developed or improved with LWCF assistance shall not be converted to uses other than public outdoor recreation. The 6(f) (3) boundary ensures that the area defined by the boundary is a viable recreation unit.

What is the 6(f) boundary map?

The 6(f) boundary map is the map, which goes on record with the National Park Service and the Department of Conservation and Recreation, that shows the area being placed under protection of the Land and Water Conservation Act. For details on the what must be shown on the map, refer to the 2014 LWCF manual.

What is Section 6(f)(3) of the LWCF Act?

Section 6(f)(3) states, “ No property acquired or developed with assistance under this section shall without approval of the Secretary [of the Interior] be converted to other than public outdoor recreation uses.” Those managing the LWCF program realize that, in certain instances, there is no alternative to converting a portion of an LWCF property. In such extreme cases where there is no alternative, the project sponsor must begin a conversion of use process with DCR. In short, the conversion of use process requires that a suitable piece of replacement property be found before a conversion occurs at a LWCF site. Suitable means equivalent in fair market value and able to serve as a viable public outdoor recreation area without relying on adjoining or additional areas.

I want to use donated land as match - Can it be property already owned by the city, town or county?

No.

The county is proposing to develop an outdoor recreation site on private property. The county would lease the site from the landowner, who is committed to outdoor recreation. Can the county apply for an LWCF grant under these circumstances?

No. The sponsor must own the project site.

Must the environmental review and public commenting requirements be completed to submit an application during the 2014 grant cycle?

No. However, evidence of the completed environmental review and public commenting requirements as outlined in the 2014 LWCF grant manual must be completed in order for the project to be submitted to the National Park Service to obtain approval. Therefore, funding preference will be given to projects that are ready to be submitted to the NPS.

What is the focus of the 2014 LWCF grant cycle?

The 2014 LWCF grant cycle will focus on awarding funds to projects that qualify for one of more of the following: 1) ready to be submitted to the National Park Service (NPS) for approval, 2) acquisition for new park development, 3) represent the next logical development phase of an open LWCF grant 4) enhance existing LWCF protected parks, 5) provide access to state waters for recreational purposes, and/or construct recreational trails.

Projects that are ready to be submitted to the NPS for approval will be given funding preference. Projects considered ready for submission to the NPS are those that have completed the necessary environmental coordination requirements, have completed a public commenting period, have completed construction plans, have a recent appraisal to federal standards (if acquisition is involved) and have necessary permits issued.

I am developing a park facility that may only be used during certain seasons and/or months of the year for organized activity. If funded through L&WCF, is it permissible to close and lock the facility during the non-use days or months and/or lock it up after the activity is over?

No. LWCF guidelines state that the park facility must be open during reasonable hours for public use every day of the year. Some exceptions include holidays, portions of Sundays, wet field conditions, etc. Even if it is the "off-season" for programming, the facility must remain open and accessible to the general public.

Contact

Synthia Waymack
Land & Water Conservation Fund Program
Planning and Recreation Resources
Department of Conservation and Recreation
600 E. Main St., 24th Floor
Richmond, Virginia 23219
(804) 786-4379