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Grants to Alabama Agencies to Acquire and Improve Outdoor Park and Recreation Facilities

Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) Grant

Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA)

Agency: State

GrantWatch ID #137993

Grant Description

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Grants to Alabama government agencies to acquire or improve outdoor park recreation sites and facilities for public use. Funding may be used to create new facilities, acquire water or land for park-related uses, and, in some cases, renovate existing facilities. Eligible uses of funds include the acquisition of land for creating water impoundments and renovation of sports and playfields.

Virtually all public outdoor recreation activities are eligible for assistance under the Program including playgrounds, ball fields, (including lights – concrete or metal poles only), court sports, picnic areas, camping areas, trails, splash pads, etc. In addition, support facilities such as concession stands, restrooms, park access roads, parking areas, utilities, and site preparation necessary to make a recreation activity area usable may qualify for assistance. 

The purpose of the LWCF Program is to provide outdoor recreational opportunities for the general public through land acquisition, development, or a combination of acquisition and development. Types of acquisition and/or development projects that may be eligible for fund assistance include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Acquisition:
    • Water-based public recreation projects such as frontage on the ocean, rivers, streams, and lakes
    • Land for creating water impoundments
    • Natural areas and preserves
    • Urban land for day use (picnic areas, playgrounds, etc.)
  • Development:
    • Renovation of existing outdoor recreation facilities
    • Sports and playfields
    • Field lighting with concrete or metal poles only
    • Picnicking and swimming facilities
    • Boating, fishing, hunting, camping areas, and trails
    • Surfacing of parking areas and access roads 

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Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible Applicants:
All political subdivisions of the state are eligible to participate in the LWCF Program. As such, municipalities, counties, state agencies, and state authorities created by the legislature may apply for LWCF assistance.

- An entity may not apply for both Recreational Trails Program (RTP) and LWCF assistance.
- An entity may not apply if it has an open RTP or LWCF grant as of May 25, 2022.
- An entity may not apply if it has unresolved compliance issues from a previous LWCF or RTP grant.
- An entity may not apply if it did not respond in writing to a LWCF or RTP inspection report that contained deficiencies.
- An entity may not apply if it has not received approval from ADECA of a Plan of Correction for previous compliance issues.

Public outdoor recreation areas and facilities for coordinated use by the general public and by public schools, including colleges and universities, are eligible for LWCF assistance provided such facilities are not part of the normal and usual program and responsibility of the educational institution. Stadiums, stadium-like seating, and portable bleachers are not eligible for LWCF assistance. Facilities needed to solely meet the physical education and athletic program requirements of a school may not receive LWCF assistance.

This policy does not preclude exclusive school use of certain facilities such as athletic fields, tennis courts, and swimming pools, at certain times for instruction or competition provided the public outdoor recreation use remains primary, and there is adequate public access at other times. for additional information, see page 1 of the Program Summary, in Supporting Documents, below.

Ineligible for fund assistance:
- Historic sites, structures, and museums
- Areas used primarily for semi-professional and professional sports and athletics
- Areas used for construction of indoor facilities
- Partial holdings in an existing recreational facility

- Professional facilities
- Indoor facilities and mobile recreation units
- Support facilities not associated with development of an eligible activity
- Development of prime or unique farmland (Prime farmland is defined as land which is presently under cultivation or has been under cultivation within the last five years.)

Please note, applications to develop elaborate, tournament only, or professional sports facilities are not eligible and will not be considered for funding.

Pre-Application Information:

The deadline for application submission is 12:00 Noon on May 25, 2022.

Regardless of the submission method chosen, the application must be received by the Community and Economic Development Division by the time and date above. Applications received on May 25, 2022, will be timestamped upon receipt. It is recommended to have a read receipt on your email or check with ADECA staff to make sure it has been received.

The LWCF grant funds are distributed on a cost-reimbursable basis.

The LWCF program provides up to 50 percent of project costs. The project sponsor must match these funds dollar for dollar with cash and/or in-kind match. Any project costs exceeding the grant amount and required match must be paid by the project sponsor.

Alabama's Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP):

Additional Funding Information:

Estimated Size of Grant:

The LWCF Program provides up to 50 percent of project costs, not to exceed the grant ceiling ($500,000.00).

Term of Contract:

The educational entity sponsoring the project must provide in the LWCF application, documentation indicating awareness of agreement to the LWCF provisions requiring the facility to be open and available to the public in perpetuity.

Contact Information:

Submit your applications:

By Mail:
Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs
Attn: Joseph Ponder, Recreation and Conservation Programs Specialist
Post Office Box 5690
Montgomery, Alabama 36103-5690

By Courier:
Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs
Attn: Joseph Ponder, Recreation and Conservation Programs Specialist
401 Adams Avenue
Montgomery, Alabama 36104

By E-Mail: and

Joseph Ponder, Recreation and Conservation Programs Specialist
(334) 242-5612

LaToya Edwards, Recreation and Conservation Programs Specialist
(334) 242-5382

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