Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership Grants Program

Visitors ride bikes and jog down a paved path along a river in the Georgetown Waterfront Park during the springtime.
The Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership (ORLP) program was established in 2014 and is funded through the Land and Water Conservation Fund. ORLP is a nationally competitive, dollar-for-dollar matching grant program. It was created to aid disadvantaged, urban communities that lack access to close-by outdoor recreation. Funds can be used for the acquisition and/or development of, or substantial renovation of, public parks and other outdoor recreation spaces.

Projects may include any or all manner of outdoor recreation activities such as hiking, camping, unstructured play, picnicking, cycling, field and court sports, fishing, bird watching, swimming pools, paddling, and skating, as well as for outdoor recreation facilities and some supporting facilities and infrastructure like restrooms/bathhouses, or parking areas, when part of an overall recreation project.

Active Funding Opportunities

Upcoming funding opportunities for ORLP can be found on Grants.gov under opportunity P24AS00498. Applications are due April 30, 2024.

Technical Assistance Webinar

Upcoming and past ORLP application training videos can be found on the City Park Alliance’s events page at Upcoming Events for Urban Park Professionals | City Parks Alliance.

Application Submission Information

The application process for the ORLP competition is different from most federal grant programs. Each State has a Lead Agency charged in administering the Land and Water Conservation fund within the State. This agency solicits proposals from project sponsors across the state, then selects and submits those they feel are best qualified to meet the goals of the ORLP program to the National Park Service (NPS) for inclusion in the national competition. If the project is selected in the national competition, the State Lead Agency than works with the project sponsor to prepare and submit additional required documents necessary for NPS to complete a full and final review of the project and make a funding determination. State Lead Agency selection deadlines are earlier than the NPS’s national ORLP competition deadline and may include additional requirements.

Entities interested in seeking funding under the ORLP program should contact their State’s Lead Agency to get details about their state’s process for selecting and submitting projects to the NPS’ national competition.
A man holds a little girl while pointing at lotus flowers
Family at the 2018 Lotus and Water Lily Festival

NPS/Rachel Hendrix

Eligible Applicants and Subgrantees

The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) Act requires that only State Lead Agencies, charged with managing LWCF funds for their state, be eligible to apply for LWCF/ORLP funds. However, a State Lead Agency may apply on behalf of itself or on behalf of an eligible sub-recipient (aka project sponsor) which includes other state agencies, local governments, special purpose districts such as park districts, and federally recognized Indian tribes. Nonprofits and other private organizations, though not eligible for a subgrant, are encouraged to collaborate with an eligible sub-recipient in developing projects.

Program Requirements

  • City Population Minimum – Projects must be within an incorporated city or town, having a population of 30,000 or more, or unincorporated area having a population of 30,000 or more, per the 2020 U.S. Census.

  • Disadvantaged Community – Project sites and the communities served must be located within a disadvantaged community (Census tract) as defined and identified in the Climate and Environmental Justice Screening Tool.

  • Perpetuity Outdoor Recreation Use - ORLP is administered under Section 200305 of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) Act which provides that project sites assisted with these funds must be maintained and accessible exclusively for public outdoor recreation use in perpetuity. This applies to the assisted park or site in its entirety, not just the area assisted by the grant funds.
  • Matching Share – Each dollar of federal share requested must be matched by a dollar of non-federal share. Match can be in the form of cash, donations, or in-kind donation.


Entities interested in seeking funding under the ORLP program should contact their State Lead Agency to get details about their State’s process for selecting and nominating projects to the National Park Service’s national competition.

All other questions may be sent by email.

Learn More

  • Search on Grants.gov using keywords “Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership” and CFDA number “15.916” to view any current competitive round opportunities.
  • To participate in learning sessions about the ORLP program and application requirements, contact City Parks Alliance to be notified of upcoming webinars or view recorded sessions.

Sample Completed Projects

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      Last updated: January 3, 2024