FCT Parks and Open Space Florida Forever Program Overview
Florida Communities Trust's Parks and Open Space Florida Forever grant program is a state land acquisition grant program that provides funding to local governments and eligible nonprofit environmental organizations for acquisition of community-based parks, open space and greenways that further outdoor recreation and natural resource protection needs identified in local government comprehensive plans. For detailed information about the grant application, appraisal and acquisition processes, as well as other information, please see the navigation links on the left.
The preservation of green space, including parks, open space, beaches and natural areas, is an important factor in creating livable communities. In 1989, the Florida Communities Trust was created to help local governments meet this need. For the first 10 years, the Trust was funded through the Preservation 2000 bond program, which was dedicated to the purchase of sensitive lands throughout the state. In 1999, the Florida Legislature approved Florida Forever as the successor program to Preservation 2000, and the Trust continues to assist communities in acquiring land for conservation and recreation. Matching and full grants for land acquisition projects are provided to communities through an annual competitive application cycle.
Florida Communities Trust provides local governments the opportunity to leverage local dollars with state dollars, optimizing conservation benefits. Florida Communities Trust encourages and fosters both public and public-private partnerships in land acquisition initiatives.
As of June 2017:
More than 92,400 acres have been preserved statewide
The Trust has provided more than $839 million of the total $1.56 billion used to acquire these lands
Local government partners have provided a match of more than $721 million
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is the state’s lead agency for environmental management and stewardship – protecting our air, water and land. The vision of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection is to create strong community partnerships, safeguard Florida’s natural resources and enhance its ecosystems.