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Grants to Wisconsin Agencies, Nonprofits, and
School Districts to Promote Outdoor Recreation

Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Local Assistance Grant Programs

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Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR)

Deadline Date:

05/01/21 Midnight (receipt or postmarked by date)


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Grants to Wisconsin government agencies, tribal governments, nonprofit organizations, and school districts to promote outdoor recreation. Funding is intended to support capital projects, such as the improvement of trails and recreation facilities. Grant funds may also be used for land acquisition.

The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is committed to providing the public with high-quality, accessible outdoor recreation opportunities throughout the state. The DNR partners with communities and organizations to expand outdoor recreation via the following grant programs: 

Knowles-Nelson Stewardship local assistance grant programs

  • Aids for the Acquisition and Development of Local Parks (ADLP)
  • Urban Green Space (UGS) grants
  • Urban Rivers (UR) grants
  • Acquisition of Development Rights (ADR)

Federal recreation grant programs

  • Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF)
  • Recreational Trails Program (RTP)

Eligible projects

Stewardship LUG, LWCF and RTP grant programs require that all land acquisition and development projects provide public access for outdoor recreation purposes. Stewardship LUG grant projects support nature-based outdoor recreation activities. LWCF grants can also fund active outdoor recreation facilities (e.g. ballfields, splash pads, etc.). RTP grants focus on trail maintenance and development activities. LUG, LWCF, & RTP grants support a wide variety of outdoor recreation projects throughout the state. 

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 143596

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

ADLP Eligible Applicants: Towns, villages, cities, counties, tribal governments, and NCOs. NCOs may only apply for ADLP grants to support land acquisition projects.

ADR Eligible Applicants: Towns, villages, cities, counties, tribal governments, and NCOs.

UGS Eligible Applicants: Towns, villages, cities, counties, tribal governments, NCOs, sanitary districts, and public inland lake protection and rehabilitation districts.

UR Eligible Applicants: Towns, villages, cities, counties, tribal governments, and NCOs.

LWCF Eligible Applicants: Towns, villages, cities, counties, tribal governments, and school districts. NCOs are not eligible to receive LWCF grants.

RTP Eligible Applicants: Towns, villages, cities, counties, tribal governing bodies, school districts, state agencies, federal agencies or incorporated organizations are eligible to apply for funds. Incorporated organizations are those that are incorporated under Ch. 181, Wis. Stats., whose primary purpose is promoting, encouraging or engaging in outdoor recreation trails activities.

The following are examples of project expenses that are typically not eligible for reimbursement in the Stewardship Local Assistance, LWCF, or RTP grant programs:
- Purchase of equipment
- Income-generating facilities (e.g. concession buildings)
- Stand-alone maintenance facilities that do not specifically serve the grant property
- Outdoor amphitheaters
- Facilities developed on property that was acquired via condemnation
- Technology such as video surveillance or Wi-Fi equipment.

Pre-Application Information:

The application deadline for this solicitation is May 1, 2021.

DNR Project Managers are located throughout the state and can help determine project eligibility and walk applicants through the grant process from project conception to final reimbursement. Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact their regional Project Manager as early as possible in the planning stages of a project and prior to submitting a grant application.

The time between submitting a complete application and receiving a grant contract ranges from 6 to 12 months depending on the details of each project.

Payment of grant funds is on a reimbursement basis.

Project applicants are required to provide matching funds equal to or greater than the amount of the grant award (i.e. 50% match).


For Nonprofit conservation organization application process information, see

Contact Information:

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

Regional Grant Managers:

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Wisconsin

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