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Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF)

Federal Agency


National Park Service (NPS)


To fund state and tribal governments for the acquisition and development of public parks and other outdoor recreation sites.

Applicant and/or Project Eligibility Requirements

Funding is provided to state and tribal governments to administer localized matching grant programs. All projects must be aligned with the priorities listed in their respective state's recreation plan (sometimes called a SCORP), which address the demand for and supply of recreation resources (local, state, and federal) within a state and identify needs and new opportunities for recreation improvements.

Decarbonization Considerations

This funding is particularly used to support parks, land conservation, open space, and recreation. When possible, these funds can be optimized if building new trail connections that serve as both recreational assets as well as connections to existing transportation networks. Consider whether such funding makes sense to increase access with multi-modal options, offer new last-mile connectivity options for public transit users, or support expansions to pedestrian and bicycle trail networks (or build new ones where none previously existed). Additional focus on enhancing urban and suburban tree canopies could help mitigate heat islands. Trees can be strategically deployed to help cool pavement and buildings alike, reducing energy needs in particularly hot areas. Another strategy to mitigate both heat islands could be to deploy solar canopies over large recreational areas to offer shade and generate clean electricity for communities.

Equity Considerations

Multi-modal accessibility to other transit options is particularly critical to ensure last-mile connections exist especially for currently disconnected, marginalized, and/or underserved communities. Consider how this funding can enhance last-mile connectivity options for those relying on public transit to increase safety and accessibility of continued commutes via transit.

Helpful Tips

Each state has its own priorities and selection criteria (tailored to its own particular needs and unique opportunities), and because individual States make the decisions, in effect, about which projects will receive LWCF grants, the first step for potential applicants is to contact the cooperating State office to find out about local application deadlines, state priorities, and selection criteria.

Other Notes


Deadline (Announced or Anticipated)

Varies by state

Funding Available

Varies by state

Max Award Amount

Varies by state

Expected Allocations

Varies by state

Average Award (Estimated)


Matching Funds

50% cost share required unless otherwise specified

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