Land & Water Conservation Fund Grant

Authorized by the US Congress and signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson, the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) Act of 1965 established a federally funded program to provide 50/50 matching grants to state and local governments for the purpose acquiring and/or developing public outdoor recreational areas and facilities. The program is administered nationally by the US Department of the Interior, National Park Service (NPS) with 100% of the supporting revenues generated from offshore oil and gas leases, and zero taxpayer dollars. LWCF is intended to create and maintain a nationwide legacy of quality public outdoor recreational resources as well as to stimulate non-federal investments in the purchase, development, maintenance and protection of these highly valued outdoor recreational areas. Per section 6(f)(3) of the LWCF Act, “No property acquired or developed with assistance under this section shall, without the approval of the Secretary (USDOI), be converted to other than public outdoor recreation uses.”

LWCF is managed at the state levels by the state governments. In order to be eligible to receive a program apportionment from the NPS, each state must develop and maintain a Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP) and appoint an official State Liaison Officer. In New Hampshire the Department of Resources and Economic Development, Division of Parks and Recreation, Office of Community Recreation is responsible for managing the program, coordinating grant rounds for project funding and monitoring past project sites for program compliance in within New Hampshire.

Since its inception the LWCF program has led to over 700 public outdoor recreation land acquisition and development projects throughout the state, totaling approximately $47,000,000.00 in grant assistance. 
All proposed projects must be for the acquisition and/or development of public outdoor recreation properties. Project sponsors must by a sub-unit of government. Eligible projects must fall within one of three categories as follows:
  • Development:  This includes new support facilities or renovation of existing support facilities.
  • Acquisition: This includes purchase of fee simple title or legal control of property for public use. This can be acquisition of abutting land to an existing developed recreational area, private recreational areas to be converted to public use, or undeveloped property to establish a new outdoor recreational area. (Projects to acquire undeveloped property in order create new public outdoor recreational areas must include a component for public access. These types of projects must be submitted as a “combination” below.)
  • Combination: This includes projects that consist of elements for both development and acquisition.
The minimum and maximum grant amounts for future grant rounds are currently undetermined, however no grant shall exceed 50% of the total eligible project costs.

 

Grant Round 33 is now CLOSED

Intent-to-apply forms for Grant Round 33 are no longer being accepted. Grant Round 34 is anticipated to be released in Spring of 2023. Any potential project sponsor should contact the Office of Community Recreation for additional information and consultation.


For more information please contact:
 
Bill Gegas, LWCF Program Specialist; or
Eric Feldbaum, ASLO/Community Recreation Specialist
 
(603) 271-3556, lwcf@dncr.nh.gov

LWCF State and Local Assistance Program
NH Division of Parks and Recreation
172 Pembroke Road
Concord, NH 03301

Click the video below for a presentation of an overview of the Land and Water Conservation Fund and Recreational Trails Program grants:

Current Open Projects

Click here to see a list of all open projects.

Other information:

NH Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan