On January 18th and 24th, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources hosted 2 educational webinars related to the upcoming Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) funding cycle. Staff provided an overview of the program, the new Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP) based criteria questions; and an overview of the two-step application process.
To download the PowerPoint presentation, click here. The live recordings will be posted in the coming weeks. Feel free to review and become familiar with the content on this website for planning purposes. However, applications are not being accepted at this time.
The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) Program is a federal program authorized by Congress for the purpose of acquiring federal lands and assisting states and local governments with funds to acquire lands and develop and renovate outdoor recreation facilities. LWCF funds are appropriated by Congress to the U. S. Department of the Interior, National Parks Service (NPS), and NPS allocates the funds through state agencies as a grant program to state and local governments.
The LWCF Program, first authorized in 1965, has resulted in Georgia receiving over $105 million in matching funds. Funding for the program during the late 1980s and early to mid 1990s was in short supply and in the late 1990s there were no appropriations. Through the efforts of many dedicated individuals and organizations throughout Georgia and the nation, the trend was reversed. Georgia received $5.6 million for federal fiscal year 2020 and the new trend is expected to continue.
In order to efficiently administer the grant funds, LWCF is moving to a bi-annual grant cycle. With two years of allocations to award, an estimate of $9 million will be available to local governments.
To ensure that only high caliber projects are awarded grants, DNR reserves the right to set minimum scores. If there is an insufficient number of high-scoring, high caliber projects, DNR may delay grant awards and solicit new grant applications/proposals the following grant cycle.
Eligible applicants are defined as qualified local governments (as determined by the Department of Community Affairs) and constituted recreation authorities/commissions who are in good standing with LWCF. All eligible applicants must complete a pre-application online. Paper applications will not be accepted. Following the competitive pre-application phase, successful applicants will be invited to complete a second-level application.
- LWCF requires a 50% match for all grant request.
- The minimum grant request is $25,000 ($50,000 total project).
- The maximum grant request is $500,000 ($1,000,000 total project).
- Only one application can be submitted for an LWCF project per jurisdiction.