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Grants to Idaho Government Agencies and School Districts to Acquire and Develop Outdoor Recreation Facilities


Geographic Focus

USA: Idaho

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Recreational Grant Program - Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF)

Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation (IDPR)

Agency: State

GrantWatch ID #164587

Grant Description

Grants to Idaho cities, counties, state agencies, recreation districts, and school districts for the acquisition, development, and maintenance of property for outdoor recreation purposes. Applicants must consult with their regional specialist in developing an application. The purpose of this program is to ensure that quality recreation facilities are available to state residents.

IDPR grants are available to help cover the cost to acquire and/or develop land, which is to be used for public outdoor recreation uses. Acquisition of less than fee interest, such as easements and development rights, will be considered in the same manner as simple fee acquisition subject to the following conditions:

(1) The interest cannot be revocable;
(2) The value can be supported through standard appraisal techniques;
(3) Recreation can be demonstrated as the primary purpose of the acquisition.

Projects must address outdoor recreation needs as outlined in the current Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation and Tourism Plan (SCORTP) to be eligible.

LWCF administration is subject to all applicable state and federal statutes, rules, ordinances, and requirements.

Project sponsors and all contractors will be required to comply with all federal and state laws pertaining to equal opportunity employment, civil rights, competitive bidding and contracting procedures, acquisition procedures, etc.

Disabled Access:

All completed facilities must reasonably provide handicapped access and features, which comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act Guidelines. Failure to adequately provide disabled access is the most common factor delaying reimbursement.

Sponsors are expected to give all individuals the opportunity to use public facilities. Plans for handicapped accessibility must be clearly shown on all application materials. If a specific scope element is not going to be accessible, a clear explanation must be made in the application.

Park/School Projects:

Projects must be clearly designed and located to primarily meet identified needs for general public outdoor recreation. They, secondarily, may provide a school district’s outdoor education, physical education and recreation facilities. Facilities to be used for varsity athletics are ineligible.

Title Requirements:

The LWCF includes a requirement that sponsors own or exercise control over properties to be developed with assistance from the fund. This can be done through outright ownership or through an easement.

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  • Others (see text field entitled "Additional Eligibility Criteria" for clarification)

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Funds are made available to the following political subdivisions of the State of Idaho through IDPR:
a. Incorporated Cities
b. Counties
c. Recreation Districts
d. State Agencies
e. School Districts

In situations where two or more agencies jointly apply and/ or manage a facility, only one agency may act as the “managing partner.” This means they assume responsibility for the application and construction, must have control and tenure of the property, must manage the completed project into perpetuity, and must act as liaison to IDPR.

Acquisition of leases is not eligible.

Pre-Application Information:

This is a reimbursement program. Sponsors will be required to initially finance 100% of the project.

Project sponsors must provide, as matching share, the balance of a project’s cost (at least 50%). Project sponsors share can be local funds, state funds, force account or donation of privately owned lands.

There are several steps in applying for LWCF money. The project proposal is used to determine a project’s eligibility. IDPR staff checks proposals against SCORTP priorities for eligibility. In addition, it will allow IDPR the opportunity to provide you technical assistance in submitting an application.

Eligible projects are then presented to the LWCF Advisory Committee. Sponsors are asked to give an oral presentation on their project. The advisory committee rates and ranks the projects in priority order for recommendation to the Idaho Park and Recreation Board.

If your project is recommended for approval by the board, IDPR will request an application. You must be prepared to make a financial investment to properly submit an application. The application requires complete information such as specific site plans with drawings, cost estimates, title information, appraisals, State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) clearance, and an environmental assessment.

Depending on your resources and the type and size of the project, this may require that you employ architects, engineers, surveyors, cultural resource consultants, attorneys, and appraisers. In addition, all costs to qualify a project must be assumed by the applicant. These may include a state appraisal review or engineering review. Some of these costs may be reimbursed if the project is approved. Information on reimbursement is provided in the program rules.

The first step in project preparation is working with the appropriate agency staff. IDPR employs regional staff to cover statewide needs. Please contact your regional specialist.

Please note the Recreational Trails Program and Land & Water Conservation Fund awards are not announced until federal partners approve applications, which is delayed beyond state awards. Do not start work on a project until you have a signed agreement or costs will not be reimbursed.

Applicants are encouraged to submit a draft application in December, giving department staff time to request any needed changes to make the project eligible.

Grants must be received in the new electronic system by 5:00 PM, Friday, January 26, 2018 to be eligible for the grant cycle.

Applications received during this grant period will be rated by the advisory committees in March, and awarded by the Idaho Park and Recreation Board in April or May.

Important Dates:
-Summer 2017: Contact IDPR for field review.
-September 2017: Announce availability of funds.
-December 2017: IDPR preliminary review of draft applications.
-January 26, 2018: All applications must be received by IDPR by 5:00 PM Mountain Standard Time. Applications received after the deadline are automatically ineligible to compete for funding. The new electronic system will close and you will be unable to submit applications after this deadline
-February 2018: IDPR staff review applications for eligibility and distribute to respective advisory committee members.
-March 2018: Advisory committee evaluates and rates applications.
-May 2018: IDPR Park Board approves grants for award.
-June 2018: Applicants contacted.
-After July 15, 2018: Funding is available.

Term of Contract:

The Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation Board has established a policy which limits projects to a period that encompasses two work seasons.

If there is no significant physical development on the project site within one work season after the project is approved, funds for the project can be withdrawn.

Contact Information:

Apply Online:

Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation (IDPR)
5657 Warm Springs Ave
Boise, ID, 83716-8700

(208) 334-4199

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