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Land and Water Conservation Fund

Program Overview: The Land and Water Conservation Fund Program (LWCF) became effective in January 1965 to create parks and open spaces, protect wilderness and forests, and provide outdoor recreation opportunities. Funds are derived from federal recreation fees, Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) revenues from leasing oil and gas sites in coastal waters, federal surplus real property sales, and a portion of federal motorboat fuel taxes. Funds are apportioned to federal agencies, and to the 50 states and 6 territories through the U.S. Department of the Interior National Park Service (NPS). In Vermont, LWCF is administered by the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks & Recreation. LWCF grants provide up to 50% matching assistance to the state and local governments.

Project applications are scored and ranked by a 5-member project application ranking committee following the Open Project Selection Process (OPSP) using established criteria. Resulting recommendations are reviewed and approved by the ranking committee. All applications must meet an identified need within the 

Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP) and address local and regional needs. Municipalities must agree to dedicate the park or area where the project is located for public outdoor recreational use in perpetuity. In addition, the grantee must also agree to develop, operate and maintain the development to acceptable National Park Service (NPS) standards for public outdoor recreation. Grants are subject to approval by the National Park Service (NPS). 


2020-21 Application

2020-21 Budget Spreadsheet *

*(required for all applications)

LWCF Application Guidebook

Webinars for more information:

Recording of Webinar on 11.24.20

Eligible Applicants: Funds are for municipalities and state agencies only (i.e., towns, cities, regional park districts, school districts and state agencies).

Eligible Projects: Acquisition of land for parks and public outdoor recreation, or development of new facilities and/or renovation of existing facilities for outdoor recreation.

LWCF Project List 1965-Present

2019-2023 Vermont Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP)