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Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) Grant

Grants to Ohio State and Local Agencies to
Acquire and Develop Recreational Land

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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National Park Service (NPS) - Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR)

Deadline Date:

11/15/18 Postmarked


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Grants starting at $50,000 to Ohio state and local governments, park and conservancy districts, and joint recreation districts to acquire or develop land for outdoor recreation. Eligible projects are those designed to be in harmony with the natural environment. Emphasis should be given to public health and safety, and protection of the recreational value of the area.

To be eligible for LWCF funding assistance, the primary future use(s) of any property proposed for acquisition must be public outdoor recreation or public outdoor recreation support facilities. All applications must include a detailed plan or description of the proposed future use(s) of the property. All future uses must be open to the public.

Examples of eligible land acquisition grant projects:
- Purchase of land that will be used for active outdoor recreation.
- Purchase of land to enlarge an existing park.
- Purchase of wetlands, natural areas, woodlands, etc. that will provide unique public outdoor recreation opportunities.
- Purchase of stream or lake frontage and/or lakes or ponds for public swimming, boating, fishing, etc.
- Purchase of urban land for public playgrounds, picnicking, non-professional sport facilities, skate parks, dog parks, open play areas, etc.
- Purchase of natural areas or preserves where passive outdoor recreation will be permitted.
- Purchase of linear corridors for trails or greenways.
- Purchase of land for a support facility (parking area, restroom, concession building, etc) for public outdoor recreation.

Examples of eligible development projects (these are examples; this is not a complete list):

- Picnic and support facilities, including access parking and restrooms.
- Low impact development and interpretive facilities in passive parks and nature preserves.
- Amphitheaters, band shells and visitor information centers
- Camping facilities and support facilities, including access, parking and restrooms.
- Swimming and water sports facilities, including beaches, pools, spray parks, lifeguard towers, bathhouses, restrooms and other sanitary facilities.
- Boating facilities, including launch ramps, transient docks and courtesy docks.
- Outdoor game courts, sports fields, playgrounds, golf courses, skate parks, outdoor climbing walls, etc.
- Winter sports facilities such as ski/sled/snowmobile trails and runs, outdoor skating rinks and warming huts.
- Recreational trails and support facilities, including trailheads and restrooms.
- Renovation or redevelopment of facilities to bring them up to standards of quality and attractiveness suitable for public use, if the facilities/areas have deteriorated so much that they are impaired, outmoded or must be upgraded to meet public health and safety laws. (If deterioration is the direct result of inadequate maintenance over the life of a facility, the renovation project is not eligible. Maintenance projects are not eligible.)
- Site architectural and/or engineering planning work directly related to project site construction. Planning costs may generally not exceed 15 percent of the total grant project cost, and are never eligible as a stand alone project. Such planning work that has occurred prior to grant application may be eligible for grant reimbursement if it is directly related to the project and costs were incurred no more than 18 months prior to the grant application deadline. These costs must be identified in the application and cannot be adjusted upwards after the application deadline.

The applicant must ensure that the development project complies with the latest accessibility guidelines under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Architectural Barriers Act (ABA). These guidelines can be accessed at:

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 150794

Estimated Size of Grant:

- Maximum grant request: $500,000 (50% of a $1,000,000 project)
- Minimum grant request: $50,000 (50% of a $100,000 project)

Term of Contract:

Any contractual agreements or payments made prior to approval may result in that part of the project becoming ineligible for reimbursement.

The outdoor recreational development intended for the property must be developed within two years of acquisition.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Under the Land and Water Conservation Act, only political subdivisions such as municipalities (cities, villages), townships, counties, joint recreation districts, park districts and conservancy districts are eligible to apply. The applicant must be able to finance the project and maintain it as a public recreation facility in perpetuity.

Associated acquisition costs such as Real Estate appraisals, land surveys, court costs, legal fees and most closing costs are not eligible for grant reimbursement.

Eminent domain acquisitions are not eligible.

Pre-Application Information:

Applications for 2019 LWCF funding must be postmarked by Thursday, November 15th, 2018. There are no exceptions.

The proposed project scope must be either development or acquisition, not both.

Matching Funds
A minimum 50% match is required for all projects. This match may come from local funds, state funding programs or certain federal grant programs (Recreational Trails Program (RTP) or Community Development Block Grants (CDBG)). Check RTP or CDBG guidance for required local match percent when matching federal funds with federal funds.

All grant payments are made on a reimbursement basis; project sponsors must have adequate funds to finance the grant project prior to receiving reimbursement.

NPS LWCF State Assistance Program information:

The Land & Water Conservation Fund Coalition Resources:

Contact Information:

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

Send your application to:

LWCF, Office of Real Estate
Ohio Department of Natural Resources
2045 Morse Rd., E-2
Columbus, Ohio 43229

Mary Fitch, Recreation Services Administrator

Tim Robinson, Program Manager

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Ohio