Outdoor Recreation_Acquisition, Development and Planning

To provide financial assistance to the States and their political subdivisions for the preparation of Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plans (SCORPs) and acquisition and development of outdoor recreation areas and facilities for the general public, to meet current and future needs.

Related Programs

Examples of Funded Projects

Acquisition and development grants may be used for a wide range of outdoor recreation projects, such as picnic areas, inner city parks, campgrounds, tennis courts, boat launching ramps, bike trails, outdoor swimming pools, and support facilities such as roads, water supply, etc.

Agency - Department of the Interior

The Department of the Interior protects and provides access to the Nation's natural and cultural heritage, including responsibilities to Indian tribes and island communities. Departmental goals include resource protection and usage, overseeing recreational opportunities, serving communities and excellence in management.

Office - See Catalog Appendix IV for addresses.

Relevant Nonprofit Program Categories

Program Accomplishments

Since the programs inception in 1964, over $3.5 billion had been made available to State and local units of government to assist in planning, acquiring and developing public outdoor recreation areas and facilities.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Acquisition and development grants may be used for a wide range of outdoor recreation projects, such as picnic areas, inner city parks, campgrounds, tennis courts, boat launching ramps, bike trails, outdoor swimming pools, and support facilities such as roads, water supply, etc.

Facilities must be open to the general public and not limited to special groups.

Development of basic rather than elaborate facilities is favored.

Fund monies are not available for the operation and maintenance of facilities.

Grants are also available to States only for revising and updating existing SCORPs preparation of new plans and for statewide surveys, technical studies, data collection and analysis and other planning purposes which are clearly related to SCORP refinement and improvement.

Every site acquired or developed with assistance under this program must remain available and accessible for public outdoor recreation use in perpetuity.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

For planning grants, only the State agency formally designated by the Governor or State law as responsible for the preparation and maintenance of the Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan is eligible to apply.

(Treated as States in this regard are the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands, and Guam.) For acquisition and development grants, the above designated agency may apply for assistance for itself, or on behalf of other State agencies or political subdivisions, such as cities, counties, and park districts.

Additionally, Indian tribes which are organized to govern themselves and perform the function of a general purpose unit of government qualify for assistance under the program.

Individuals and private organizations are not eligible.

Beneficiary Eligibility

The general public. For planning grants, same as Applicant Eligibility.


The State Liaison Officer (SLO), appointed by the Governor to administer the program in the State, must furnish assurance that the project is in accord with the State Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan; i.e., that it meets high priority recreation needs shown in the action program portion of the plan. The State's apportionment balance of fund monies must be adequate for the project, and the sponsoring agency must permanently dedicate the project to public outdoor recreation and assume responsibility for operation and maintenance. SCORPs must cite the State's legal authority to participate in the Land and Water Conservation Fund program. Costs will be determined in accordance with 43 CFR Part 12, Subpart C, "Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Cooperative Agreements to State and Local Governments." Section 12.62 (of the common rule), identifies Federal cost principles for determining allowable costs.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

The standard application forms furnished by the Federal agency and required by 43 CFR Part 12, Subpart C, "Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Cooperative Agreements to State and Local Governments," must be used for this program.

Applicant is required to furnish basic environmental information or evaluation.

Assessment by the National Park Service will determine whether an environmental impact statement will be prepared.

This program is eligible for coverage under E.O.

12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs." An applicant should consult the office or official designated as the single point of contact in his or her State for more information on the process the State requires to be followed in applying for assistance, if the State has selected the program for review.

This program is covered under OMB Circular No.


Application Procedures

Project proposals are submitted to the National Park Service through the State liaison officer designated by the Governor. The State Liaison Officer has the initial prerogative of determining acquisition and development project eligibility, priority need, and order of fund assistance within the State. This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-110.

Award Procedures

Proposals are reviewed by the NPS field office, where final action may be taken.




16 U.S.C. 1-4 et seq.; Land and Water Conservation Fund Act of 1965, Public Law 88-578, 78 Stat. 897, as amended; Public Law 90-401, 82 Stat. 354; Public Law 91-485, 84 Stat. 1084; Public Law 91-308, 84 Stat. 410; Public Law 92-347, 86 Stat. 460; Public Law 93-81, 87 Stat. 178; Public Law 94-422, 90 Stat. 1313; Public Law 95-42, 91 Stat. 210; Public Law 100-203, 101 Stat. 1330.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Approximately 20 days for acquisition and development projects; 60 days for planning projects.


State may appeal to the Secretary of the Interior.


Project agreements may be amended to change the scope, amount, or duration. Must be approved by the National Park Service.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

The Land and Water Conservation Fund Act specifies that not more than 50 percent of the project cost may be federally financed. Under certain conditions, all or part of the project Sponsor's matching share may be from certain other Federal assistance programs, such as Title I Community Development, Appalachia and all other Regional Commissions. Forty percent of the first $225 million; thirty percent of the next $275 million; and twenty percent of all additional appropriations is apportioned equally among the States. The remaining appropriation is apportioned on the basis of need. This program has maintenance of effort (MOE) requirements, see funding agency for further details.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Funds are available for obligation during the fiscal year in which appropriated and for the two following fiscal years. The assistance period for individual projects varies and may be extended. Complex projects may be broken down into stages, with one being initially approved and the remainder qualified for activation at a later date. Except for project preparation costs, all costs must be incurred within the project period. Planning projects may not be phased.

Post Assistance Requirements


State inspection reports are submitted every 5 years on completed projects stating whether the properties acquired and/or developed with fund assistance are used in accordance with the agreement.

For planning projects, end products are specified in the application for assistance.

Reports are required with billings.


In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133 (Revised, June 27, 2003), "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Nonprofit Organizations," nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $500,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $500,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in Circular No. A-133.


Maintain records to facilitate audit, including records that fully disclose the amount and disposition of assistance; the total cost of the project; and the amount and nature of that portion of the cost supplied by other sources.

Financial Information

Account Identification



(Grants) FY 07 $27,994,976; FY 08 $23,133,400; and FY 09 est $6,314,000.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

$150 to $5,450,000; $68,178.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

Brochure available from the Department of the Interior, National Park Service, MS-2225, 1849 C Street, Washington, DC 20240, free. Regulation: 36 CFR Part 59, FR 51 No. 186, September 25, 1986 (amended June 15, 1987).

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

See Catalog Appendix IV for addresses.

Headquarters Office

Chief, Recreation Programs, National Park Service, (2225), Department of the Interior, 1849 C Street, NW., Washington, DC 20240. Telephone: (202) 354-6900. FAX: (202) 371-5179, e-mail: waso_recgrants@nps.gov. Program inquiries should be directed to Michael D. Wilson at Michael_D_Wilson@nps.gov.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

At the Federal level each project must be in accord with a State Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan. Beyond this, the selection of projects is made by the State Liaison Officer of each State who is responsible for the administration of the 15.916 program in his State.

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