Funding and grants for Utah outdoor projects available, how to get involved

Local News

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Do you have an outdoor recreation project planned that would benefit Utah’s outdoor community? Funding reimbursement for eligible projects may be available through the Land Water Conservation Fund State Assistance Grant (LWCF).  

The 2021 grant period for the Land Water Conservation Fund has opened as of February 16, 2021, and closes on May 1, 2021, at 5:00 pm. This grant is administered by the Utah Division of Parks and Recreation in partnership with the National Park Service. 

According to a recent press release, it states that the LWCF Act was established by Congress in 1965; creating the state assistance federal reimbursement grant program for the acquisition and/or development of public outdoor recreation areas. Any site or facility that is purchased, developed, or improved with funding from this grant is protected in perpetuity as a public outdoor recreation area. State agencies, counties, and municipalities — including towns and federally recognized tribes — are all eligible sponsors.

“The LWCF State Assistance grant program has helped state and local governments acquire and develop parks for the residents of Utah all across our beautiful state, Susan Zarekarizi, the Division’s land, and environmental coordinator shares. “There are a lot of parks and recreation sites that people visit very often and have no idea the project was funded through this program. Things like racquetball courts, skate parks, swimming pools, and more.” 

Officials say the LWCF may be used to develop public outdoor recreation facilities including, but not limited to: ball fields, sports courts, racquetball courts, spray parks, public restrooms, outdoor swimming pools, skate parks, campgrounds, and regional outdoor sports facilities. Land acquisitions for public outdoor recreation are also eligible. 

Since its inception, the LWCF program has funded more than 500 Projects in Utah, totaling more than $55 million in assistance. The fund is a 50-50 matching reimbursement program. The grant recipient must be able to fund 100 percent of the project while seeking periodic reimbursements for eligible expenses from the program.

Have a great idea that you would like to propose as an LWCF project? Visit the Utah Division of Parks and Recreation website to learn more about the grant and download the applications. 

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