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Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) Recreation Grant

Grants to Michigan Agencies, Schools, and Tribes
for the Development of Outdoor Facilities

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Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR)

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Grants to Michigan local and state government agencies and school districts to enhance outdoor resources in local communities. Applicants must convene a public gathering and must submit required documents prior to applying. The primary purpose of funding is to create new public recreation facilities and areas. The renovation of existing facilities is eligible if the facility has reached its useful life and inadequate maintenance, poor design, or construction was not the cause of the facilities’ poor or unsafe condition.

The program is intended to create and maintain a nationwide legacy of high-quality recreation areas and facilities and to stimulate non-federal investments in the protection and maintenance of recreation resources across the United States. 

A variety of development projects for public outdoor recreation facilities are eligible for funding through the LWCF program. Examples include, but are not limited to, trailways, picnic areas, beaches, campgrounds, boating access, fishing areas, winter sports areas, playgrounds, ball fields, tennis courts, and skate parks. Facilities needed to support outdoor recreation such as restrooms and storage buildings as well as facilities for the interpretation of natural resources are also eligible.

Eligible sheltered facilities – Swimming pools and ice-skating rinks located in areas which meet cold climatic criteria, shelters of permanent construction may partially or completely enclose these facilities to protect them against cold weather conditions and thereby significantly increase the recreation opportunities provided. Please contact your Grant Coordinator to determine project eligibility. 

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 148057

Estimated Size of Grant:

The minimum grant amount is $30,000 ($60,000 total project cost) and the maximum grant amount is $500,000 ($1,000,000 total project cost). The match percentage must be exactly 50 percent.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

The following entities are eligible to submit a LWCF grant application:

- State agencies and local units of government, including cities, villages, townships, and counties, or any combination thereof in which an authority is legally established to provide public recreation, such as:
- Regional recreation authorities formed under the Recreational Authorities Act, 2000 PA 321, and trailway commissions formed under Part 721, Michigan Trailways Act, 1994 PA 451, as amended.
- Huron-Clinton Metropolitan Authority.
- Federally recognized Native American Tribes.
- School districts are eligible to apply if they meet the requirements given in Guidelines for the Development of Community Park, Recreation, Open Space and Greenway Plans (IC1924).

Colleges, universities and nonprofit organizations are not eligible for LWCF funding.

Acquisition of land is not eligible for LWCF funding.

Private land not is eligible. Applicants must possess sufficient title and adequate legal control of the property.

Projects that are not eligible include:

- Indoor recreation facilities – LWCF assistance will not be provided for support facilities or portions thereof that contribute primarily to public indoor activities such as meeting rooms; auditoriums; libraries; study areas; restaurants; lodges, motels; luxury cabins; furnishings; food preparation equipment; kitchens and equipment sales areas. Bathhouses, public restrooms, maintenance sheds, etc., are potentially eligible for LWCF assistance since their basic function is to provide support for outdoor recreation facilities.
- Facilities and/or stadiums designed for viewing of professional or semi-professional arts or athletics, or intercollegiate or interscholastic sports.
- Amphitheaters, band shells, and permanent seating associated with them.
- Art displays, decorative fountains, and facilities for historical interpretation.
- Projects which would create an unfairly competitive situation with private enterprises. In situations where privately managed facilities are providing identical or similar recreation opportunities, the applicant must provide additional written justification of the need for the proposed facility in light of the private sector's presence.
- Most improvements to public roadways.
- Invasive species removal, shoreline stabilization, or erosion control which are not associated with development of recreation facilities at the site.
- Municipal infrastructure, such as electrical transmission lines, sewer mains, water mains, etcetera, is not eligible for funding with DNR Recreational Grants. However, a service line for these types of utilities can be eligible as a scope item if it is providing the utility to a site of public outdoor recreation that has other scope items being developed as part of the same grant project.

Contaminated properties are not eligible for grant assistance. Properties with past contamination problems may be considered for funding if all cleanup measures have been completed at the time the application is submitted to the DNR. Verification from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and/or the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that all clean up actions have been satisfactorily completed must be submitted with the grant application. Environmental assessment costs and costs for cleanup actions are not reimbursable.

Pre-Application Information:

Grant Schedule for 2021:

- January 2021: Application period starts in MiGrants.
- February 1, 2021: Recreation plans, and plan amendments must be submitted in MiGrants by this date.
- April 1, 2021: Application period closes in MiGrants.
- April 2021: Applicants will receive notifications with questions for explanation, clarification, and/or supplementation of information provided in the application.
- May – July 2021: Grants Management staff conducts review of all applications and conducts site visits.
- September 2021: Preliminary scores go out to grantees.
- September – October 2021: Supplemental Information Deadline. Grants Management staff reviews supplemental materials and releases final scores.
- December 2021LWCF recommended projects are submitted to the DNR Director for recommendation.
- Winter 2021: Director issues recommended applications. Applicant prepares final application documents for inclusion in state application to the National Park Service.
- Spring 2021 : Project Agreements Issued. Timeframe dependent on final approval by the National Park Service.

The applicant is responsible for providing the public adequate opportunity to review and comment on the proposed application. At a minimum, you must hold one public meeting to receive input about the application. Use all channels you normally use to provide advance notice to the public about upcoming public meetings and other official actions. This meeting must be held within the six-month time period before the application deadline and before a resolution committing to the application is passed by your local governing body (see chapter 3 for documentation requirements).

All applicants must have a current, 5-Year Recreation Plan that has been locally adopted, submitted in MiRecGrants by February 1st, and approved by the Department by the application deadline. Consult the Guidelines for the Development of Community Park, Recreation, Open Space, and Greenway Plans (IC1924) for guidance.

The local community must provide a portion of the total project cost; this is the local match. The LWCF program requires a 50 percent (fixed) match.

All grants are paid as reimbursement for actual expenses (i.e. the community pays for the work and is then reimbursed at 50 percent of the cost up to the grant amount). Only those costs directly associated with the construction of the project will be reimbursed, including engineering costs and the costs associated with obtaining permits.

How to use the online application system:,4570,7-350-79134_81684_79209_81886_92578---,00.html

Contact Information:

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

Apply online:

For information or assistance on this publication:
Telephone: (517) 284-7268 (517-28-GRANT)
FAX: (517) 241-0013

Regional contacts:

Upper Peninsula
Merrie Carlock
(517) 284-5931

Lindsay Ross
(517) 284-5916

Erin Campbell
(517) 284-5957

Livingston & Oakland Counties
Merrie Carlock
(517) 284-5931

Andrea Stay
(517) 284-5948

Dan Lord, Section Manager

Rachel Schumaker, Assistant to the Section Manager and MNRTF Board Secretary
(517) 284-7268

URL for Full Text (RFP):

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