WASHINGTON – National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis today opened the application period for $15 million of grants to develop outdoor recreation spaces in urban areas.
“We are excited to offer these competitive grants which will be matched with local partnerships to create safe outdoor recreation places for people, especially young people, in neighborhoods of America’s cities,” Jarvis said.
The National Park Services (NPS) Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership Program (ORLP) competitive grants are made available through the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and are just the second round of such grants. The NPS obligated $2.9 million of the grants for pilot projects last year. Communities and partners matched that money with projects in eight cities worth a total of $6.1 million.
“I think Congress recognized the value of the projects and partnerships and they responded with a fivefold increase in project grant dollars this year,” Jarvis said. “We’re looking to build on the excitement generated by these pilot projects and grants to add many more projects across the country.”
The NPS will entertain project proposals ranging from $250,000 to $750,000 each, and planning grants up to $75,000. Projects must have matching funds and partners. Outside of the planning grants, funding for eligible projects can be used to acquire and/or develop land to create new, or reinvigorate existing, public parks and other outdoor recreation spaces in neighborhoods that are underserved or lack such opportunities.
Jarvis also announced a pilot planning grant program mini-competition, which will fund special studies to help guide park and recreation investment to where it is needed most in urbanized areas.
The ORLP grants complement the existing NPS LWCF State and Local Assistance Program in targeting national priorities to create new opportunities for outdoor play as well as development or enhancement of outdoor recreation partnerships in cities. Selected projects will showcase how partners at all levels can work collaboratively to leverage investment and support close-to-home recreation opportunities that will connect youth to public lands.
Since its establishment in 1964, the Land and Water Conservation Fund has conserved land in every state and supported tens of thousands of state and local projects. The fund does not use taxpayer dollars; the primary source of income derives from fees paid by oil and gas companies drilling offshore in waters owned by the American people. President Obama proposed full funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund in the Fiscal Year 2017 budget, and is pursuing permanent authorization in annual mandatory funding for the Fund’s programs beginning in 2018.
Who may apply?
State and local government agencies (e.g., cities, counties, legal subdivisions such as park districts, etc.) and federally-recognized Indian tribes within or serving areas delineated by the Census Bureau from the 2010 census as having populations of 50,000 or more people and consisting of densely settled territory.
How do I apply?
Proposals should be developed in cooperation with the lead agency for LWCF in each state. The full funding opportunity announcement and pre-application materials are available online at grants.gov. Please look for Funding Opportunity Number P16AS00065; Title: Land and Water Conservation Fund Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership Program.
When is the deadline for applications?
Applications are due on Friday, May 20, 2016.
About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for the 410 parks in the National Park System and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Visit us at www.nps.gov, on Facebook www.facebook.com/nationalparkservice, Twitter www.twitter.com/natlparkservice, and YouTube www.youtube.com/nationalparkservice.