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Vermont Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) Program

Grants to Vermont Government Agencies to
Acquire and Develop Outdoor Facilities

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation (FPR) - Agency of Natural Resources (ANR)

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

12/14/20 Noon


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Grants to Vermont municipal entities, including park, fire, and school districts and government agencies, to provide state residents with outdoor recreational facilities. Funding is intended for projects to acquire lands and to develop and improve existing parks and spaces.

Eligible Projects and Project Costs

There are two general categories of projects that can receive LWCF funds: Acquisition and development. Funds are available for the acquisition of lands and waters or for the development and enhancement of public outdoor recreation facilities that are consistent with the outdoor recreation goals and objectives highlighted in the Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP) and recreation elements of local plans. 


Areas acquired may serve a variety of outdoor recreation activities including: walking, sightseeing, swimming and other water sports, picnicking, nature study, boating, hunting and shooting, camping, horseback riding, bicycling, snowmobiling, skiing, athletic fields, public playgrounds, and other outdoor recreation activities. Acquisition projects may also include structures which are to be used for outdoor recreation or support facilities for outdoor recreation.

Eligible Acquisitions: An acquisition project should include the purchase of land for outdoor recreation purposes. A project may involve the acquisition of land to create a new park or expand an existing park. It may also consist of the acquisition of land for more than one park if the parks are of the same type. An example of a multi-site acquisition project is the purchase of land for two neighborhood parks or parcels for access points along a river to create a greenbelt park corridor.


Development projects can be the construction or rehabilitation of outdoor recreation facilities or areas. A major rehabilitation project may consist of the repair, restoration, or reconstruction of eligible facilities, which is necessitated by obsolescence, building code changes, or normal wear and tear not attributed to a lack of maintenance.

Plans for the development of land and/or facilities should be based on the needs of the public, the expected use, and the type and character of the area. Facilities should be attractive for public use and generally be consistent with the surrounding environment. Plans and specifications for the improvements and/or facilities should be in accord with established engineering and architectural practices. Emphasis should be given to the health and safety of users, accessibility to the general public, and the protection of the recreation and natural values of the area. Facilities can only be developed on properties that the project sponsor has title to or complete control and tenure.

Eligible Facilities (examples):

  • Sport playfields
  • Hiking, biking and walking trails
  • Camping Picnic facilities
  • Boating facilities
  • Swimming areas
  • Playground areas
  • Restroom buildings Roads, parking, landscaping, and walkway 

For additional details about each of the project areas, see the Application Guidebook in Supporting Documents below. 

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 150261

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

LWCF grants are available only to municipalities (i.e. any governmental entity, cities, towns, park districts, school districts, fire districts, etc.). Non-profit organizations and private entities are not eligible applicants.

Acquisitions Ineligible for Assistance:

• Historic sites and structures.
• Museums and sites to be used for museums or primarily for archaeological excavations.
• Land to help meet a public school's minimum site size requirement, as established by State or local regulations.
• Areas and facilities designed to be used primarily for semi-professional and professional arts and athletics.
• Areas and facilities to be used solely for game refuges or fish production purposes.
• Areas to be used mainly for the construction of indoor facilities. Also prohibited are areas where existing indoor recreation facilities, if left in place, will not leave sufficient area at the site for development of outdoor recreation facilities to justify the cost of the acquisition.
• Sites containing luxury lodges, motels, cabins and similar elaborate facilities which are to be operated by the project sponsor or concessionaire to serve recreationists with food and sleeping quarters.
• Agricultural land primarily for preservation in agricultural purposes

Ineligible Facilities (examples):

• Indoor facilities (except swimming pools and ice-skating rinks)
• Community centers
• Historic buildings
• Park manager’s residences
• Meeting rooms
• Auditoriums
• Maintenance equipment
• Commercial-type amusement centers

For ineligible costs, see the Application Guidebook document in Supporting Documents below.

Pre-Application Information:

LWCF Grant Program Timeline 2020-21

- October 2020- January 2021: Virtual or in-person site visits are conducted by FPR staff to determine eligibility of proposed work and help resolve any questions.
- December 14, 2020: Full Applications are due to FPR no later than 12 noon.
- December 14, 2020- January 5, 2021: Applications are reviewed for completeness and eligibility by FPR Staff and forwarded to Project Application Ranking Committee (PARC) members.
- January 5, 2021: PARC will meet for preliminary funding recommendations. NOTE: project sponsors will be invited to present their projects and answer questions by the committee. The committee scores and prioritizes applications using established criteria.
- January 2021: Funding recommendation announcements made by FPR. Applications now begin the federal approval process.
NOTE: No grant related work may begin prior to National Park Service approval.
- March-April 2021 When a project is recommended for funding, it is just the beginning of the federal approval process, which may take a few months. The sponsor can take this time to apply for all local, state, and federal permits and clearances.

Contact Information:

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

Email applications to:
Jessica Savage

Land and Water Conservation Fund
Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation
1 National Life Drive Davis 2
Montpelier, VT 05604

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Vermont

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