Frequently Asked Questions about Land and Water Conservation Fund Program (LWCF)
Q. What is the Land and Water Conservation Fund Program? A. LWCF is a competitive program that provides grants for acquisition or development of land for public outdoor recreation use.
Q. How is LWCF Administered? A. Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) administers the program on behalf of the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service. The program is governed according to Florida Statutes, Administrative Code and the LWCF Grants Manual.
Q. Who May Apply for LWCF Funds? A. All local governmental entities with the legal responsibility for the provision of outdoor recreational sites and facilities for the use and benefit of the public.
Q. How Do I Apply? A. Applicants must submit a completed LWCF grant application during an announced submission period. Applicants may submit only one application during the submission period. Applications must involve only one project site except for acquisition or development of sandy beach access.
Q. What is the Maximum Grant Amount? A. The maximum grant amount will be announced prior to the submission period.
Q. What is the LWCF Matching Ratio? A. The matching ratio is one applicant dollar to one federal dollar for all LWCF grant awards (50% / 50%).
Q. What Can I Use to Match a LWCF Grant? A. *Cash; *In-kind services; *Value of donated real property owned by applicant (must be pre-approved by DEP).
Q. What may LWCF Funds be used for?
Development: Outdoor recreation areas and facilities such as beaches, picnic areas, trails, ball fields, tennis and basketball courts, and playgrounds along with associated support facilities such as lighting, parking, restrooms and landscaping. Enclosed buildings and structures (except restrooms, restroom/concession buildings and bathhouses) are ineligible.
Acquisition: Land for outdoor recreation purposes.
Q. Must an applicant own the project site? A. For development projects, the applicant must own the project site or lease it from a public agency by the closing date of the application submission period. Land owned or leased by the applicant must be dedicated in perpetuity as a public outdoor recreation area.
Q. How are LWCF Grants Awarded? A. Each application is reviewed to determine eligibility. Staff evaluates each eligible application according to the Florida Administrative Code and the LWCF Manual, and assigns a final score. Based on the scores, the bureau prepares and submits a recommended priority list to the Secretary of DEP for approval. State approved projects are then submitted to the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service for final review and award.
Q. If an applicant is awarded LWCF funds, what are the major requirements?
Project Agreement: DEP and the grantee will enter into an agreement setting forth conditions consistent with DEP policy, the Florida Administrative Code and the LWCF Manual.
Completion Time: Grantees may be allowed up to three years from the effective date of the agreement to complete development projects, and one year for acquisition projects.
Payment Schedule: Grantees will receive LWCF funds on a reimbursement basis.
Project Plans: Development projects shall have final plans prepared and certified by an engineer or architect registered in the state of Florida.
Project Accessibility: A recipient of federal funding may not, directly or through contractual or other arrangements, on the grounds of age, race, color, sex, national origin, physical or mental disability, deny an individual any service or benefit that could otherwise be reasonably provided.
Site Dedication: LWCF assisted park land must be dedicated as a public outdoor recreation area in perpetuity. Grantees must commit to operate and maintain LWCF assisted public recreation facilities in reasonable repair for a minimum of 25 years after completion of construction to prevent undue deterioration.
Land Acquisition: Unless approved by DEP in advance, formal negotiations for acquisition of a LWCF assisted site may not begin until the grant is awarded by the National Park Service. Grantees have up to three years to develop the property after purchase.
Q. Who Do I Call for More Information? Department of Environmental Protection Land and Recreation Grants 3900 Commonwealth Boulevard, MS 585 Tallahassee, Florida 32399-3000 Phone 850-245-2501 Fax 850-245-3038
April 22, 2020 - 4:31pm
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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.