The LWCF Act authorizes 50/50 matching grants to States and Territories (and through States to local units of government) to plan, acquire, and develop public lands for outdoor recreation to improve quality of life and the health and vitality of present and future generations. Section 6(f)(3) of the LWCF Act also helps create a unique legacy of protected recreation areas in perpetuity. Grant-assisted areas are prohibited from conversion to non-recreation uses, unless approved by the Secretary of the Interior and assisted parks are replaced with comparable land. The LWCF State and Local Assistance Program has two parts:
- LWCF State Assistance Grants where funding appropriated by Congress is allocated by formula to all eligible States and Territories and DC. Projects are selected by the states and submitted to NPS for approval.
- Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership Program (ORLP) is a new national competitive program targeting grant assistance to help urban communities acquire and/or develop land to create or reinvigorate public parks and other outdoor recreation spaces. Projects are selected by the Director.
UPARR provides direct matching grants and technical assistance to preselected (eligible) economically distressed urban communities to revitalize and improve recreation opportunities, specifically to:
- rehabilitate existing indoor and outdoor recreation facilities;
- demonstrate innovative ways to enhance park and recreation opportunities; and
- develop local Recovery Action Program (RAP) to identify needs, priorities and strategies for revitalization of the total recreation system. Assisted sites are required to remain in recreational use in perpetuity unless the local governmental recipient makes a request to NPS to convert the site. Congress last funded UPARR in FY2002.
FLP helps states and local government agencies to acquire surplus Federal real property for public recreation areas and facilities to provide close to home recreation opportunities and improve the quality of life and the health and vitality of present and future generations. NPS deeds properties in perpetuity for parks and recreation, and is responsible for monitoring and overseeing compliance of transferred properties in perpetuity. NPS helps maintain a legacy of protected recreation areas through technical assistance, real estate deed modifications, and conflict resolution to help prevent conversion to non-recreation uses and loss of public recreational opportunities. NPS may revert transferred properties that are no longer needed or used for State or local public parks and recreation.