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Land and Water Conservation Fund

The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) is a Federally funded grant program administrated by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department.  Typically, the program awards about $1.5 million to qualified projects every other year.  Since 1964, this national grant program has awarded over $55 million in grant funds for Oregon recreational areas and facilities.

Program Overview

​Eligibility

Eligible applicants include:

  • Cities
  • Counties
  • Park and Recreation Districts
  • METRO
  • Port District
  • Indian Tribes
  • Oregon State Agencies (Parks & Recreation Dept., Dept. of State Lands, Department of Fish and Wildlife and Dept. of Forestry).


Project Types include:

LWCF grants are available to either acquire land for public outdoor recreation or to develop basic outdoor recreation facilities.
 
Acquisition – Acquiring land and water for public access, including new area or additions to existing parks, forests, wildlife areas, beaches or similar.
 
Development – Developing outdoor recreation activities and support facilities needed by the public for recreation activities, including providing basic facilities and improvement of basic facilities.
 
Projects must be consistent with the outdoor recreation goals and objectives stated in the Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan  (SCORP) and elements of your local comprehensive land use plans and park master plans. Projects must also comply with the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Match Criteria:

LWCF provides up to 50 percent project funding. Eligible matches include local budged funds, donated funds, and the value of property, equipment, materials, and/or labor.  

Land previously acquired and work completed prior to project approval cannot be used as a match.  Pre-agreement design and engineering costs may be eligible, but all other projects costs and match must occur within the project period.

Legal Protection for Grant Assisted Recreation Sites:

Section 6(f)(3) of the LWCF Act contains strong provisions to protect Federal investments and the quality of assisted resources. Any site that has been acquired, developed, or improved, no matter how small the improvement, with funds from the LWCF grant program, must be open to the public and maintained in perpetuity (forever) for public outdoor recreation.

Section 6(f)(3) of the LWCF Act

  • SEC. 6(f)(3) No property acquired or developed with assistance under this section shall, without the approval of the Secretary, be converted to other than public outdoor recreation uses. The Secretary shall approve such conversion only if he finds it to be in accord with the then existing comprehensive statewide outdoor recreation plan and only upon such conditions as he deems necessary to assure the substitution of other recreation properties of at least equal fair market value and of reasonably equivalent usefulness and location.

Acceptance of an LWCF grant agreement with Oregon Parks and Recreation Department requires the recipient/project sponsor to assume the responsibility for compliance with LWCF Act, any and all program requirements, and applicable state and local laws. In signing the grant agreement with Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, the sponsor accepts the responsibility for compliance and the consequences of non-compliance.

Inspections
Inspections are required on LWCF assisted areas to monitor the project sponsor’s compliance with program requirements. Project sponsors with recreation areas found in non-compliance will be notified in writing of the problems and given direction on remediation.

History of the Program
:

The Land and Water Conservation Fund State Assistance program was established by the LWCF Act of 1965 (Section 6, Land and Water Conservation Fund Act of 1965, as amended; Public Law 88-578; 16 U.S.C 4601-4 et seq.) to stimulate a nationwide action program to assist in preserving, developing, and assuring to all citizens of the United States of present and future generations such quality and quantity of outdoor recreation resources as may be available and are necessary and desirable for individual active participation.  The LWCF State Assistance Program provides matching grants to States, and through the States to local governments, for the acquisition and development of public outdoor recreation areas and facilities.  


The LWCF program was administered by the Bureau of Outdoor Recreation (BOR) from its beginning in 1965 to 1978 when the Heritage Conservation and Recreation Service (HCRS) was created.  HCRS then administered the program until 1981 when the LWCF was transferred to the Department of Interior, National Park Service.

For additional information, visit the National Park Service website at:  https://www.nps.gov/subjects/lwcf/index.htm

Grant Cycle Schedule

May 3 – June 3:  OPRD is accepting public comments through June 3 at 5 PM on proposed changes to the Oregon Administrative Rules governing the LWCF program. A full copy of the proposed amendments and information about how to submit comments is available on the Proposed OPRD Rules web page. A virtual public hearing will be held at 6  p.m. May 26 for anyone who would like to provide comment or learn more about the proposed rule change.  Registration is required to participate at https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_AC6nH4pESUm3cheBtG84XQ.

July 23, 2021: 2021 Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership (ORLP) Program applications due to OPRD by 11:59 PM. Notice of Funding Opportunity P21AS00509. For more information about ORLP, please see the Application & Forms section on this webpage.

September 1, 2021: LWCF Grant cycle opens

September 10, 2021: Online grant cycle webinar, 9:30-11:30 AM. The webinar will cover the grant cycle process, policies, application requirements, scoring criteria, and more for the LWCF program. Webinar will be recorded and made available online. Register in advance at: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_eogJ4FJtRa-ZW6V2AEs_kQ

October 29, 2021:
LWCF Grant applications due at 11:59 PM

Late winter/early spring 2022:
The Oregon Outdoor Recreation Committee (OORC) meets to rank and recommend grant applications for LWCF funding.

April 2022:
The OPRD Commission hears the OORC’s recommendations at the Commission meeting.

Dates may be subject to change.

Grant Program Guidance and Forms

​The Land and Water Conservation Fund Manual includes program policies, eligibility requirements, information about the application process, current scoring criteria, and grant management policies.

LWCF Manual

Workshops are offered for applicants to learn more about the grant program and application process.

Watch the March 11, 2020 Webinar on YouTube at
https://youtu.be/iKWOsc47I24

Watch the January 10, 2018 Webinar on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rKoc8hIrygo


View the 2020 Webinar as PDF.

View 2018 Webinar as PDF.

OPRD utilizes an online grants application system. The application can be accessed online when the grant cycle is open. Interested applicants must have an account on OPRD Grants to apply and if needed, can request an account at any time.


Online Application Instructions: Refer to these instructions to navigate the application system on OPRD Grants

Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership (ORLP) Program:
The purpose of the LWCF ORLP Program is to provide grants to acquire and/or develop public lands for outdoor recreation purposes consistent with the purposes of the LWCF, but with the further specific goals of funding projects that (1) are located within or serve an Urbanized Area (population of 50,000 or more) as designated by the Census Bureau from the 2010 Census, AND (2) are located in or are directly accessible to neighborhoods or communities that are underserved* in terms of parks and recreation resources and where there are significant populations of people who are economically disadvantaged.

“Underserved communities” are those with: (1) no existing parks; (2) some existing parks but not enough to support the size of the population of the service area or otherwise able to satisfy existing recreational demand; or (3) some existing parks (potentially even an adequate number of parks) that are so deteriorated/obsolete or underdeveloped that a major redevelopment or rehabilitation is necessary to significantly increase the number of people or user groups who could be served in a way that would be equivalent to a new park.

The following information applies to the ORLP 2021 Notice of Funding Opportunity P21AS00509. Refer to the NOFO for a full description of application requirements. Applications are due to OPRD by July 23, 2021. The grant limits are $300,000 minimum to $4,750,000 maximum. You must contact LWCF Coordinator prior to applying.

Instructions and Manuals:


Forms:


Resources:


Land and Water Conservation Fund Program
LWCF Grant Program-Quick Facts (Update coming soon)
LWCF Grant Program-FAQ: Updated frequently (Update coming soon)

Pre-Application Worksheets: (Forms will be updated soon)
Use the three worksheets below as a guide when preparing answers for the Online Application. Your answers can then be cut and pasted from the Worksheet to the Application.

  • Application Worksheet-Development or Rehabilitation
  • Application Worksheet-Acquisition
  • Application Worksheet-Acquistion & Development


Forms: (Forms will be updated soon)

  • Land Use Compatibility Statement form
  • State Natural Resource Agency Review Form   


Federal LWCF Grant Manual and Forms

  • Manual
  • Certifications Regarding Debarment, Suspension, and Other Responsibility Matters, Drug-Free Workplace Requirements and Lobbying  (Update coming soon)

Refer to the current LWCF Policy Manual  for comprehensive information about reporting requirements and state and federal laws that apply to the program.

Progress reports and reimbursement requests must be submitted on https://oprdgrants.org.

Refer to the Online Grant Reimbursement and Reporting Instructions  for detailed information.

Reporting Forms:

Important Information:

Maps must be to scale, or show actual dimensions;  show all existing facilities, easements, utilities, and new facilities proposed in application; should be color-coded for ease of understanding; will be reviewed by the Oregon Outdoor Recreation Committee (OORC) prior to your schedule presentation. The project boundary map must clearly delineate the park boundary, which is subject to the conversion provisions of Section 6(f)(3) of the LWCF Act.
                                                                                               

  • Overhead utility lines constitute a major detraction from the natural quality of outdoor recreation areas and must be eliminated where possible. Reasonable steps must be taken to ensure the burial, screening or relocation of overhead lines, where lines visibly intrude on the site’s character. All new electrical wires under 15KV, and telephone wires, must be placed underground. If existing lines cannot be removed, rerouted, or buried, please explain in the program narrative and environmental assessment.
  • All project sponsors will be assessed an administrative fee for an approved project.
  • Within one year after project approval, project sponsor must have contracts awarded and/or have completed at least 25 percent of the project.
  • No project may begin without authorization from OPRD through a signed State/Local Agreement.
  • Projects that do not receive funding may be revised and submitted in another grant cycle.
  • Project areas and facilities must remain open for public outdoor recreation use in perpetuity. Areas and facilities funded with LWCF assistance in the past must be in compliance with the LWCF program guidelines. LWCF acknowledgement signs must be posted on the site.
  • LWCF acknowledgement signs are available upon request.

Grant Advisory Committee

The Oregon Outdoor Recreation Committee (OORC) is a nine-member committee appointed by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department Director. The committee meets annually and at other times upon the call of the Director. The committee members serve non-concurrent four-year terms and represent the following interests:

  • Counties east of the Cascade Mountains;
  • Counties west of the Cascade Mountains;
  • Cities under 15,000 populations;
  • Cities over 15,000 populations;
  • Park and Recreation Districts, Metropolitan Service District or Port Districts
  • Oregon Parks and Recreation Department
  • People with Disabilities
  • Minorities; or Representatives from Tribal Governments
  • Public-at-Large

 
Selection of committee members shall be from lists supplied by the Oregon Parks Association, Association of Oregon Counties, League of Oregon Cities, Oregon Recreation and Park Association,
Special Districts Association of Oregon, and recommendations from the Director.
 
For more information about the Committee, contact the LWCF Program Coordinator.

Grant Awards

​Refer to these lists for descriptions of recent projects funded by LWCF.

2018

2016

2014



Contact:

Nohemi Enciso
Land and Water Conservation Fund Program Coordinator
725 Summer St. NE Suite C
Salem, OR 97301
503-480-9092

To recieve email updates and information about LWCF, please contact Nohemi Enciso and request to be added to the email distribution list.

Resources


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