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Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership Program

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Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership Program


The Land and Water Conservation (LWCF) State and Local Assistance Program was created by Congress in 1964 to assist in preserving, developing, and assuring accessibility to present and future generations of U.S. citizens and visitors "such quality and quantity of outdoor recreation resources as may be available and are necessary and desirable for individual active participation in such recreation and to strengthen the health and vitality of the citizens of the United States[.]" This is accomplished in part by authorizing and providing grants to states, and through states to local units of government and federally recognized Native American tribes, for projects that will provide outdoor recreation opportunities to the public through the acquisition of lands and waters for parks and other outdoor recreation areas, as well as through the development of new, or the renovation of existing, outdoor recreation facilities.

The LWCF State and Local Assistance Program is operated by the National Park Service (NPS) in partnership with designated lead agencies in each of the 50 states, as well as American Samoa, the District of Columbia, Guam, Northern Marianas Islands, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. Congress allocates money from the LWCF for this program, which is then allocated to the states based on a legislative formula. To be eligible for LWCF grants, states must maintain an approved Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP), which must be updated at least once every five years. Among other things, SCORPs are used to assess the supply and demand for outdoor recreation resources and set priorities for the use of LWCF funds.

In 2014, in coordination with Congress and the Secretary of the Interior, NPS created the Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership (ORLP) Program, a competitive grant program administered under the authority of the LWCF Act. NPS designated the ORLP with input from Congressional Committee staff, the States, and other interested parties. As design, the goal of the ORLP Program is to provide new or significantly improve recreation opportunities for economically disadvantaged communities in larger urbanized areas (as designated by the Census Bureau) that are underserved in terms of parks and other outdoor recreation resources. With Congressional support, the NPS has funded and issued grants pursuant to the ORLP each year. ORLP grants are selected through an NPS-lead national competition, following a solicitation and nomination by the States, and such grants do not count against State apportionments.


Program Objectives

The purpose of LWCF's ORLP program is to provide grants to acquire and/or develop public lands for outdoor recreation purposes consistent with the purposes of the LWCF, but with the further specific goals of funding projects that:

  • Are located within or serve an Urbanized Area (population of 50,000 or more) as designated by the Census Bureau from the 2010 Census; and
  • Are in, or are directly accessible to, neighborhoods or communities that are underserved in terms of parks and recreation resources and where there are significant populations of people who are economically disadvantaged.


2021 ORLP Application

 Download the application (.docx) »


Workshop information

Monday, June 14, 2021
WebEx Online Event
2 p.m.

Join meeting here »
Meeting number / access code: 161 128 2682
Meeting password: ORLP21
Or join by phone: US toll +1-415-655-0003

Meeting agenda »


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