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Local Acquisitions for Natural Diversity (LAND) Grant Program

Grants to Massachusetts Municipal Conservation and Agricultural
Commissions to Acquire Land for Resource Protection Projects

Agency Type:

State

Funding Source:

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Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA)

Conf. Date:

05/12/20

Deadline Date:

07/15/20 3:00 PM Receipt

Description:

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Grants to Massachusetts municipal conservation and agricultural commissions to acquire land to protect, restore, and conserve the resources of the State. Funding is intended to support the procurement of properties such as fields, forests, habitats, and historic or cultural resources which offer passive recreational access to the general public. Funds may be used to purchase a conservation restriction or land in fee simple.

The Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) protects, conserves, and restores the natural resources of the Commonwealth. To fulfill this mission, funding through the FY 2021 round of the Local Acquisitions for Natural Diversity (LAND) Grant Program will assist municipal conservation commissions in acquiring interests in land for conservation and passive recreation. The LAND Grant Program is part of the goal of protecting and enhancing outdoor recreation opportunities, conserving natural resources and open space, and addressing climate change. The LAND Grant Program also supports the Governor Baker’s Executive Order 569, which calls for state government to adapt to climate change and build a more resilient Commonwealth, by including resiliency criteria in its rating system and incorporating priority projects from EEA’s Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness program. 

Eligible projects include the purchase of land in fee simple or a conservation restriction (CR). 

The LAND Grant Program helps cities and towns acquire land for conservation and passive recreation purposes. The grants reimburse cities and towns for the acquisition of land in fee or for a conservation restriction. The general public must have reasonable access to the land. The grant supports the purchase of:

  • Forests
  • Fields
  • Wetlands
  • Wildlife habitat
  • Unique natural, cultural, or historic resources
  • Some farmland

Eligible projects include the:

  • Purchase of land in fee simple
  • Purchase of a Conservation Restriction

Allowable Uses:

The LAND grant program requires properties to provide passive recreational opportunities to the public. 

Permitted uses: Conservation; public passive recreation; limited, sustainable agriculture and/or forestry that is compatible with conservation and passive recreation. Subject to EEA approval.

Examples: Hiking, biking, swimming in a natural waterbody, hunting, fishing, skiing, wildlife viewing, environmental education, community gardens, approved timber management or agriculture, camping. 

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 141708

Estimated Size of Grant:

The maximum award for any single project is $400,000, except for joint applications, which can receive up to $400,000 per participating municipality

Term of Contract:

Contracts will end on June 30, 2021 for FY 2021 awards and June 30, 2022 for FY 2022 awards. Extension of a contract is at the sole discretion of EEA.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible applicants include:

Municipal conservation and agricultural commissions.

Applicant municipalities must meet the following requirements:

1. Open Space and Recreation Plan - Have an approved Open Space and Recreation Plan (OSRP) on file with the EEA – Division of Conservation Services (DCS), or submit a draft plan by the LAND application deadline.
2. Have no unresolved protected open space conversion issues with the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA).
3. Obtain municipal approval for the acquisition.
4. Community Preservation Act (CPA) and Cape Cod Land Bank Communities: Successful grant applicants that have purchased real property interests for open space or recreational purposes using money from the Community Preservation Fund, or Cape Cod Land Bank Fund, must have on all such properties permanent conservation restrictions.

For further details on the above requirements, see https://www.mass.gov/doc/land-grant-bid-document/download#page=2.

Properties with any of the following characteristics are ineligible for funding:

1. Already permanently protected.
2. Owned by an environmental nonprofit.
3. Municipally-owned.
4. Located in an Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development (EOHED) - designated Priority Development Area (PDA)
Landholdings that are in a single, contiguous tract or otherwise related may be packaged in the same application. Unrelated, separate landholdings must be submitted as individual applications.

Prohibited uses: Active recreation or developed uses. Examples: athletic fields (baseball, soccer), off highway vehicles and off-road driving, pools, play structures, wells, golf courses; tennis courts; shooting ranges, enclosed dog parks; etc.

Pre-proposal Conference:

An information session will be held on the following dates:

- Wednesday, April 29, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. in West Springfield at the DAR office at 64 Century Way, Suite 42
- Tuesday, May 12, 2020 at 2:30 p.m. in Boston at 100 Cambridge Street, 2nd Floor Conference Room D

The workshop presentation and answers to any questions received in writing by June 24, 2020 will be posted on the DCS website. While not required, it is recommended that applicants attend the workshop. Send RSVP to Nathaniel Thomas via phone or email (see Contact Information below).These dates and locations are subject to change, due to COVID-19. For the most up-to-date information, please refer to the DCS website.

Pre-Application Information:

Applications must be received by 3:00 pm, Wednesday, July 15, 2020.

Deadlines:

- Release of BID: March 27, 2020
- Information Sessions: April 29, 2020 and May 12, 2020
- Question Period: : Questions about this BID will be answered until Wednesday, June 24, 2020.
- Application Due Date: Wednesday, July 15, 2020 at 3:00 pm
- Estimated Award Date: Awards for land acquisitions are estimated to be announced about 120 days after the grant application deadline.

This is a reimbursement program; reimbursement rate is 52-70%.

How to Apply: https://www.mass.gov/how-to/apply-for-a-local-acquisitions-for-natural-diversity-land-grant

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Submit two paper copies and an electronic copy of the application to:

Nathaniel Thomas
RE: ENV 21 DCS 01
Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs
100 Cambridge Street – Suite 900
Boston, MA 02114

617-626-1187
nathaniel.thomas1@mass.gov

Funding or Pin Number:

BID ENV 21 DCS 01

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Massachusetts

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