The Department of Natural Resources Land Acquisition and Planning Unit will soon be accepting proposals for federal FY2020 Land and Water Conservation Fund assistance grants. Please check back after July 22, 2019 for an update on the federal FY2020 grant round. Municipalities and counties are eligible for up to a 50 percent matching fund assistance from the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Please read the FY19 Land and Water Conservation Fund Grant Information Packet to prepare for the FY2020 funding round. This information packet includes examples of project eligibility, grant acceptance commitments and restrictions, and scoring details.
Authorized by the United States Congress and signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson, the Land and Water Conservation Fund Act of 1965 established a federally funded program to provide 50/50 matching grants to state and local governments for the purpose of acquiring and/or developing public outdoor recreational areas and facilities. The program is administered nationally by the United States Department of the Interior, National Park Service with the supporting revenues generated from offshore oil and gas leases. The Land and Water Conservation Fund is intended to create and maintain a nationwide legacy of quality public outdoor recreational resources as well as to stimulate non-federal investments in the purchase, development, maintenance and protection of these highly valued outdoor recreational areas. Per section 6(f)(3) of the Land and Water Conservation Fund Act, “No property acquired or developed with assistance under this section shall, without the approval of the Secretary of the Department of the Interior, be converted to other than public outdoor recreation uses.”
The Land and Water Conservation Fund is managed at the state level, by the state governments. In order to be eligible to receive a program apportionment from the National Park Service, each state must develop and maintain a Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan and appoint an official State Liaison Officer. All eligible projects must reflect the states’ policies and priorities of its most current Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan; in Maryland this plan is the Maryland Land Preservation and Recreation Plan.
Municipalities and counties may apply for up to 50 percent matching fund assistance from the Land and Water Conservation Fund. In Maryland, the Department of Natural Resources, Land Acquisition and Planning Unit, is responsible for managing the program, coordinating grant rounds for project funding, and monitoring past project sites for program compliance in Maryland. Since its inception, the Land and Water Conservation Fund program has funded over 350 acquisition and development projects throughout the state of Maryland.
Maryland Department of Natural Resources is now accepting Preliminary Application forms for Grant Round Federal FY19. Preliminary Applications are due by 4 p.m., December 18, 2018. Municipalities and counties are eligible for up to a 50 percent matching fund assistance from the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
Program Open Space Local funds may be used as the match. If using Program Open Space Local funds as match for a development project, please note that county match requirements will apply. The maximum Land and Water Conservation Fund assistance grant request is $800,000 ($1,600,000 minimum total project cost).
Upon receipt, preliminary applications will be reviewed and scored to determine eligibility. Once a project is determined eligible, Maryland Department of Natural Resources will invite those applicants with the highest grant score to officially apply for Land and Water Conservation Fund assistance. National Park Service will review project applications, and if approved for Land and Water Conservation Fund assistance, will provide a project start date. Applicants should be aware that development and acquisition projects must be completed within three years from the provided start date. Only expenditures incurred within the approved Land and Water Conservation Fund project period are eligible for reimbursement. Grantees do not receive funds at the time of approval. The applicant must incur 100 percent of the total project cost; submit evidence of eligible expenditures throughout project implementation and payment thereof; and request reimbursement from Maryland Department of Natural Resources after the project has been completed and National Park Service has officially closed the grant. Expenses incurred prior to authorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund grant agreement or after the expiration date are ineligible for reimbursement.
Projects must be in direct support of public outdoor recreational uses of related properties and/or facilities. Please read the FY19 LWCF Grant Informational Packet for examples of projects and more details.
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