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Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) Competitive Program

Grants to California Local, State, Tribal Agencies to Acquire
or Develop Property for Outdoor Recreation Activities

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California Department of Parks and Recreation - Office of Grants and Local Services (OGALS)

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Grants to California local governments, tribes, joint power authorities, and special districts to acquire or develop outdoor recreation areas and facilities for public use. The purpose of this program is to create new recreation opportunities to promote the health and wellness of state residents.

The mission of the California Department of parks and Recreation is to provide for the health, inspiration, and education of the people of California by helping to preserve the state's extraordinary biological diversity, protecting its most valued natural and cultural resources, and creating opportunities for high-quality outdoor recreation.

The Office of Grants and Local Services (OGALS) aims to be responsive to the needs of applicants, grantees, nonprofit organizations, local governments, and legislative members, who are our partners working to improve the quality of life for all Californians by creating new parks and recreation opportunities.

Eligible Projects
-Acquisition Project
-Development Project

The application must only be for Acquisition or Development. Combination projects are not eligible. These Acquisition or Development projects may include but are not limited to the following examples.

Acquisition Examples:
-Acquisition to create a new park
-Acquisition to EXPAND or provide a buffer for an existing park
-Acquisition to provide a wildlife corridor
-Acquisition to provide a recreational/active transportation trail corridor that connects neighborhoods to workplaces, schools, homes, and other recreational opportunities

In some cases, the Acquisition property may not require Development at all within three years after the Acquisition. Examples include:
-An existing fire or safety road in the Acquisition property is in proper condition to be readily useable as a trail or walking pathway.
-Expansions: The Acquisition property is adjacent to an existing park, and the purpose of the Acquisition is to serve: as a buffer to protect the viewshed of the park for current and future generations of park visitors. In this case, enjoying the viewshed is a recreation opportunity for the park visitors; or as a buffer to protect a wildlife corridor for current and future generations, where visitors of the existing park come to enjoy watching wildlife.

Development Examples:
-Development of recreation features must be for outdoor recreation, not indoor recreation.
-LWCF funds are intended to increase outdoor recreational opportunities for the health and wellness of Californians.

These examples are not intended to show a preference from OGALS.

Recreation Feature:
-Athletic fields (soccer regulation or “futbol rapido”, baseball, softball, football, etc.)
-Athletic courts (basketball, tennis, “futsal” etc.)
-Community gardens
-dog parks
-OPEN SPACE and natural areas
-Outdoor gyms (aerobic or strength building equipment)
-Outdoor performing arts venues
-Picnic areas
-Play grounds and tot lots
-Recreational trails
-Skate parks and BMX or pump tracks
-Tracks, jogging loops, and par courses
-Outdoor swimming pools and aquatic features

Major Support Amenity:
-Restroom buildings and parking lots
-Additions that enhance the use and appearance of the park including landscaping, public art, and safe public use features such as lighting.

SCORP Priorities - Land and Water Conservation Fund Actions:

The following six actions are established in California’s 2015 SCORP and are the basis of the Project Selection Criteria.

1. Create new parks within a half mile of underserved communities.

2. Expand existing parks to increase the ratio of park acreage per resident in underserved areas.
-Neighborhood areas that have no park within a half mile of a potential site (use the Community Fact Finder); Or
-Cities or Counties that have more than the state average of 24% of its residents living farther than a half mile from a park. (use the park Access Tool); Or
-Cities or Counties with at least 62% of its residents living in areas that have less than three acres of parkland per 1,000 people; Or
-Areas with an annual median household income that is less than $49,119 (use the “Community Fact Finder”).

3. Renovate existing or create new outdoor facilities within existing parks not currently under federal 6(f)(3) protection.

4. Provide community space for healthy lifestyles, children’s play areas, environmental justice, cultural activities, historic preservation.

5. Engage community residents during the project concept and design process.

6. Increase the inventory of California Wetlands under federal 6(f)(3) protection that also meets public outdoor recreation needs through the efforts of multiple agencies.
a. Create new wetlands where they previously existed and have been destroyed.
b. Acquire existing but unprotected wetlands to hold in public trust.
c. Restore, where needed, the quality of existing wetlands owned by public agencies.
d. LWCF grants for wetlands will include public access for recreation and educational opportunities.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 164297

Estimated Size of Grant:

Grant requests up to $3 million are encouraged.

Term of Contract:

For Pre-Award Planning, eligible costs may be incurred up to three years before the application is submitted.

Acquisition must result in a new recreation opportunity for the public within three years after the completion of the acquisition.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible Local Agency Applicants
-Cities and Counties
-Federally recognized Native American tribes
-Joint Powers Authorities (JPA) where all members are public agencies. A JPA can include a State agency if at least one member is a local (non-State) public agency or district formed for the purpose of providing park and recreation areas.
-Non-State agency recreation and park districts and special districts with authority to acquire, operate, and maintain public park and recreation areas.

Pre-Application Information:

The match must be no less than 50% of the total project cost. In other words, the match can range from 50% to 99% of the total project cost.

The LWCF GRANT amount can fund no more than 50% of the total project cost. In other words, the LWCF grant amount can range from 1% to 50% of the total project cost.

The deadline for Local Agency Competitive Applications is Monday, February 5, 2018.

The full grant amount is reimbursed when the grantee has shown eligible costs paid for by both the LWCF grant amount and the match.

The Proposal Description-Environmental Screening Form (PD/ESF) may be found at:

Community Fact Finder and Park Access Tool:

Contact Information:

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

Questions may be sent to your OGALS Project Officer. A contact list is provided in the Supporting Documents below.

Street Address for Overnight Mail:
Calif. Dept. of Parks and Recreation
Office of Grants and Local Services
1416 Ninth Street, Room 918
Sacramento, CA 95814

Mailing Address:
Calif. Dept. of Parks and Recreation
Office of Grants and Local Services
P.O. Box 942896
Sacramento, CA 94296-0001

(916) 653-6995 / (800) 777-0369

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: California