The Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation (FPR) announced that funds are available for outdoor recreation grants via the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). These funds will be available to municipalities around the state to conserve lands and develop infrastructure dedicated to outdoor recreation. Since 1964, the LWCF program has granted more than $50 million in projects and provided more than 27,000 acres of land for outdoor recreation in Vermont.

“Outdoor recreation is a crucial component of Vermont’s economy and quality of life,” said FPR Commissioner Michael Snyder. “We are pleased to offer this opportunity to communities across the state to preserve and improve their recreation experience.”

“The impact of this program in Vermont has been huge,” said Jessica Savage, Recreation Program Manager and LWCF Grant Administrator. “This year, Congress fully funded and permanently re-authorized LWCF, which is great news for Vermont. Hundreds of parks and facilities have been acquired and improved with LWCF funds over the past fifty years, likely in your community or a neighboring community. We know that this grant round will bring even more excellent projects to add to that list.”

LWCF is a program of the National Park Service and provides 50-50, reimbursement-based grants. Cities, towns, villages, school districts, fire districts and inter-municipal districts are eligible applicants. Projects can range from the acquisition of land, which is then made available for public recreation, to development projects including sport playfields, hiking, biking and walking trails, camping, picnic facilities, swimming areas, and playground areas. Large-scale projects (over $100,000) are the best fit for this program, and communities are encouraged to contact FPR with any questions. FPR is awaiting final amounts from the National Park Service but is estimating approximately $1.5 million will be available in this round. Applications are due no later than noon on December 14th, 2020. Grant awards will be made in Spring 2021. For more information and to download the application, please visit http://fpr.vermont.gov/recreation/grants/lwcf.