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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:


Funding Source:

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Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA)

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

07/14/21 3:00 PM Receipt


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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, Kathleen A. Theoharides, Secretary of EEA, is making available funding through the FY 2022 round of the Local Acquisitions for Natural Diversity (LAND) Grant Program to assist municipal conservation commissions in acquiring interests in land for conservation and passive recreation. The LAND Grant Program is part of the Baker Administration’s goal of protecting and enhancing outdoor recreation opportunities, conserving natural resources and open space, and addressing climate change. It is part of a longstanding tradition of protecting the Commonwealth’s rich natural heritage for generations to come. The LAND Grant Program also supports 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.

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. For further information on allowable uses, see:

Eligible Costs:

Costs eligible for reimbursement include all approved project costs incurred within the grant recipient’s contract period, including: 

  • Property acquisition
  • Recording fees
  • Title search
  • Stewardship activities (including assuring access to the project)
  • Baseline Documentation Report
  • Survey

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, 2022 for FY 2022 awards and June 30, 2023 for FY 2023 awards. Extension of a contract is at the sole discretion of EEA.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible applicants include:
Municipal conservation and agricultural commissions from communities with an up-to-date Open Space and Recreation Plan.

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

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.

For further details on the above, see:

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.

Ineligible costs:
Costs that are ineligible for reimbursement include any cost incurred outside of the contract period, as well as staff salaries, 21E compliance fees, legal fees, Brownfield cleanup costs, Application preparation and submission costs, equipment or goods, appraisal, anything else determined by EEA to be ineligible

Pre-proposal Conference:

An information session will be held on the following dates:

Tuesday, May 4, 2021 at 11:00 a.m.
Thursday May 13, 2021 at 2:00 p.m.

RSVP to Nathaniel Thomas for one of the two dates above to receive an access link.

The workshop presentation and answers to any questions received in writing by June 30, 2021 will be posted on the DCS website and CommBuys. While not required, it is recommended that applicants attend the workshop.

Pre-Application Information:

Applications must be received by 3:00 pm, Wednesday, July 14, 2021

- Release of BID: March 15, 2021
- Information Sessions: May 4, 2021 and May 13, 2021
- Question Period: : Questions about this BID will be answered until Wednesday, June 30, 2021.
- Application Due Date: Wednesday, July 14, 2021 at 3:00 pm
- Estimated Award Date: Awards for land acquisitions are estimated to be announced about 120 days after the grant application deadline.

Applicants not selected to receive funding will receive a notification letter.

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

How to Apply:

Contact Information:

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

Submit one paper copy 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


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