New Federal Funding Opportunity: $15 million to Develop Urban Outdoor Recreation Spaces

By Dave Tyahla | Posted on March 11, 2016

Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership Program

Grant Program Details

The National Park Service (NPS) opened the application process for this year’s Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership Program (ORLP). This $15 million nationally competitive grant program specifically targets recreation spaces in urban communities.

In 2015, NPS awarded $3 million in grants to eight pilot projects. This was the second time the ORLP grant opportunity has been available.

In addition to offering significantly more funding this year ($15 million overall), NPS accepted proposals ranging between $250,000 and $750,000 in support of land acquisition and development in communities with a population of 50,000 and above. Priority was given to projects serving economically disadvantaged areas. There was also a pilot “planning grant” program awarding up to $75,000 to fund planning studies in an effort to help target park and recreation investment to urban areas where it is needed most.

Who and How of Applying

State and local government agencies, including park districts, within or serving areas with populations of 50,000 or more people were able to apply. Proposals should have been developed in cooperation with the lead LWCF agency (State Liaison Officer) for your state.

Don’t Forget to Share How These Programs Impact Your Community

Opportunities such as the ORLP only happen through the successful advocacy and engagement of NRPA members, like you. Do you have an LWCF-funded park or open space in your community? You can help ensure Congress understands how LWCF programs like the State Assistance Fund and the ORLP positively impact your community by inviting your members of Congress to see your projects first-hand. It’s easy to plan a visit. To get started, sign up to be a Park Champion and use the Park Champion Advocacy Toolkit.


Dave Tyahla is NRPA’s Senior Government Affairs Manager.