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Program Overview

Land & Water Conservation Fund Program


Keizer Rapids​
 The LWCF grants provide matching grants to state and local governments for acquiring and developing public outdoor recreation areas and facilities. Since 1964, this national grant has awarded more than $55 million for Oregon recreational areas and facilities.
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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.
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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 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.

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Eligible Applicants


Wesley Lynn Park​
 Eligible applicants include:


  • Cities

  • Counties

  • Park and Recreation Districts


  • Port District

  • Indian Tribes

  • Oregon State Agencies (Parks & Recreation Dept., Dept. of State Lands, Department of Fish and Wildlife and Dept. of Forestry).
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Project Types

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.
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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.






                                                                                                     Florence Skate Park

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SCORP & Grants

To allocate LWCF funds objectively, the Oregon Parks and Recreation Committee and staff use the Open Project Selection Process criteria to evaluate how well a project proposal falls into the 2013-2017 Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP).
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