The LWCF is funded by revenues from offshore oil and gas leases and uses funding to conserve resources, like parks, wildlife refuges, forests, open spaces, trails and wildlife habitat. The Stateside LWCF program, a component of the overall LWCF program (which also funds federal land conservation projects and other state and local grants), is comprised of two programs: state formula grants and the Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership (ORLP) program (nationally competitive). ORLP targets economically disadvantaged urban communities with little access to publicly available, close-by, outdoor recreation.

Eligible Uses

  • Formula Grant: Funding can be used to acquire land and water interests for park purposes, develop new outdoor recreation facilities, and in certain instances, renovate existing recreation facilities. LWCF assistance can also be used to acquire large open space and natural areas, such as green spaces and wetlands. Projects must be consistent with the required 5-year Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan articulating priority needs.
  • ORLP: Funds can be used for the acquisition and/or development of, or to substantially renovate obsolete, public parks and other outdoor recreation spaces. Projects ust be located in areas that are 1) low-income and 2) lack adequate parks or other outdoor recreation spaces. Priority is given to projects that increase access to nature’s benefits, such as green spaces and natural landscapes.

Eligible Recipients

  • State governments, US territories, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia are eligible recipients for the Formula Grants. Federally recognized Tribal Governments and local governments are eligible sub-applicants. 
  • State, local, and territorial governments, representing cities with populations of at least 30,000 with at least 20% of residents living below the poverty line, are eligible recipients for the ORLP program.

Approx Annual Funding Amount

The overall LWCF program is funded at roughly $1 billion annually; of that total, stateside grants have in recent years been funded at about $350 million, with ORLP grants funded at roughly $100-$125 million each year and the balance distributed to the states as Formula Grants.

Cost Share Requirements

A 1:1 non-federal match is required. In-kind contributions are accepted.

Application Cycle

  • Application deadlines vary widely state-by-state. 
  • For the ORLP program, contact your state to get details about your state’s process for selecting and nominating projects to the national competition.


State and Regional contacts can be found here.

Other Info

This program is covered under the Justice40 Initiative.