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Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF)

Grants to South Dakota Local Governments to
Develop Public Outdoor Recreation Facilities

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks, Division of Parks and Recreation

Deadline Date:

12/08/17 Postmarked


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Grants ranging from $10,000 to $75,000 to South Dakota city, township, county, and tribal governments for the development of outdoor recreational facilities for public use. Funding may be requested for the acquisition of park land, the development of new facilities, and major improvements and renovations to existing facilities.

Some eligible projects may include, but are not limited to:
-Sport and play fields
-Picnic facilities
-Ice rinks
-Golf courses
-Winter sports facilities
-Visitor information facilities
-Land Acquisition

Planning Process:

The key to a successful application is to assure that the proposed project is well supported by the community and justified by the 2013 South Dakota State Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP) or a Local Recreation NeedsAssessment. The SCORP indicates issues, actions and priorities for outdoor recreation activities on a statewide basis. A Local Recreation Needs Assessment indicates the support for specific local projects. Either the SCORP or a Local Recreation Needs Assessment can be used to justify a project.

To determine the need for an activity or facility for which SCORP recommendations do not exist or to better prioritize local needs, a community can conduct a Local Recreation Needs assessment. A needs assessment supported by a local survey offers several advantages. It insures that projects are responsive to local conditions, establishes local support for projects, can identify local recreation trends, and provides direct evidence that there is local need for a project. Another method to determine the need for an activity or a facility could be its identification in a plan or project list developed by a local recreation board or department, as long as the plan or list was formulated based on public input.

If you choose to prepare a Local Recreation Needs Assessment, an instruction manual with a suggested method for conducting a local recreation survey is available from the Division of Parks and Recreation or your regional Planning and Development district office. The Planning and Development Districts are available to assist in developing local needs assessments. The recreation needs assessment may also be part of a more comprehensive planning document, for example, a city plan, if it provides evidence of local need or support for the proposed project.

In addition, to giving citizens an opportunity to review and discuss the needs assessment and proposed projects, a public meeting should be held. This can be in conjunction with any regularly scheduled meeting of the governing body. A public notice announcing the hearing should be published in the area newspaper.

Eligible Projects:

A variety of development projects for public outdoor recreation facilities are eligible for funding through the LWCF program. Examples of eligible projects may include but are not limited to, playgrounds, ball fields, sports and play fields, picnic facilities, support facilities including circulation roads, fencing, lighting, utility and sanitation systems, parking areas, restroom buildings, and landscaping for the project area, hiking/biking trails, camping facilities, outdoor water sports facilities including beaches and pools, ice rinks, golf courses, amphitheaters, winter sports facilities, fishing and boating facilities, interpretive and visitor information facilities.

Extensive renovation of existing facilities when the facility is no longer useable due to age but not due to lack of maintenance would be an eligible project.

Acquisition Projects:

The LWCF program will assist in the acquisition of land to be used for park and outdoor recreation purposes. An acquisition can be completed in one of three ways:

-Outright purchase at full fair market value, termed “negotiated sale.”
-Donation, which is the gift of land by a private owner to a public body.
-A “bargain sale”, which is the purchase of land at less than the full fair market value (this process has tax advantages to the seller and yet the full market value can be charged to the project).

In any of these situations, the project application must receive federal approval before the land can be acquired and title transferred. An appraisal must also be done using the Uniform Appraisal Standards of Federal Lake Acquisition (UASFLA), commonly referred to as the “Yellow Book.” Federal and state laws also provide that all acquisitions of land must meet the provisions of the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act, public law91-646.

For any project application which includes any type of land acquisition, it is important that the project sponsor notify the Division of Parks and Recreation staff. This will insure a good understanding of the process to be followed, the type of appraisal to be done, the eligible costs and the timing for the acquisition.

Development Projects:

Development projects are subject to several state and federal laws which effect any development a city may do regardless of the method of financing. Specifically, the rules of the South Dakota Department of Legislative Audit must be followed. When construction is a part of a project, a contract for services must be drawn up and signed by both parties. Guidelines for complying with state and federal laws regarding construction contracts and bidding are available from the Department of Legislative Audit.

The Land and Water Conservation Fund program requirements on development projects include:

-Development projects must comply with all applicable existing local and state health, environmental and building regulations.
-Power lines installed with LWCF assistance must be placed underground.
-LWCF assistance cannot be used to construct an intensive recreational use facility under overhead power lines. Fund assistance is available to bury existing overhead power lines.
-Facilities must be adequately maintained for recreational use for the reasonable life expectancy of the facility.
-The land on which the development occurs must be dedicated for public outdoor recreation purposes in perpetuity.
-The facilities developed must be accessible to disabled persons and comply with Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards (UFAS).
-Facilities developed must not compete with similar facilities in the private sector.

Operation and Maintenance:

Property acquired or developed with LWCF assistance shall be operated and maintained as follows:
-The property shall be maintained so as to appear attractive and inviting to the public.
-Sanitation and sanitary facilities shall be maintained in accordance with applicable health standards.
-Properties shall be kept reasonably safe for public use. Fire prevention, lifeguard, and similar activities shall be maintained for proper public safety.
-Buildings, roads, trails, and other structures and improvements shall be kept in reasonable repair throughout their estimated lifetime to prevent undue deterioration and to encourage public use.
-The facility shall be kept open for public use at reasonable hours and times of the year, according to the type of area or facility.

Generally, any expense for land, labor, equipment use, materials and supplies, construction, and anything else which is a necessary part of initially developing the facility is an eligible cost which can be matched.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 172921

Estimated Size of Grant:

The minimum grant amount is $10,000 and the maximum grant amount is $75,000.

Term of Contract:

Acquisition or actual construction cannot begin prior to NPS approval. Any project costs incurred before NPS approval will not be eligible for reimbursement.

Sites acquired with LWCF assistance must be developed within three years.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible applicants include city, county, township and tribal governments.

Some specific items are not eligible for assistance, including:
-Ceremonial or entertainment expenses.
-Expenses for publicity.
-Charges for contingency reserve or other similar reserves.
-Charges in excess of the lowest responsive bid, when competitive bidding is required, unless it is agreed to in advance.
-Taxes which the organization is not liable to pay.
-Interest expenses.
-Incidental costs relating to acquisition of real property.
-Operation and maintenance costs.
-Costs of discounts not received.
-Equipment to be used for maintenance of facilities, including tractors, mowers, machinery and tools.
-Appraisal costs.

Pre-Application Information:

The program provides up to 50% reimbursement funds

Applications must be postmarked on or before December 8, 2017.

Contact Information:

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

Randy Kittle

South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks
523 E. Capitol Ave.
Pierre, SD 57501-3182

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: South Dakota