Nationwide grant program provides funding opportunities for urban areas

The Department of Natural Resources has announced a grant opportunity for the National Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership (ORLP) Program. The ORLP program, funded through the Land and Water Conservation Fund, is a nationally competitive grant program that delivers funding to urban areas — jurisdictions of at least 50,000 people — with priority given to projects located in economically disadvantaged areas and lacking in outdoor recreation opportunities.

To be eligible for this grant program, an applicant must be one of the following:

  1. Political subdivision of the state, that is, cities, towns, counties, and special purpose districts such as park districts.
  2. Federally recognized Indian tribes that are organized to govern themselves and perform the functions of a general purpose unit of government.
  3. State agencies.

In addition, eligible applicants must meet both of the following criteria:

  1. Represent a jurisdiction of at least 50,000 people as indicated by the 2010 Census AND
  2. Be situated within or contiguous with the geographic boundary of one of the 497 urbanized areas delineated by the Census Bureau.

Eligible projects include acquisition or development (or a combination) of lands and facilities that will provide outdoor recreation opportunities to the public. All projects must meet requirements for perpetual outdoor recreation use.

The ORLP Program has $150 million available nationwide. The minimum grant is $300,000 and the maximum is $5 million. Projects require a minimum of 1:1 match from non-federal sources.

Additional information and application materials are available on the DNR program webpage, National Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership (ORLP) Program | Minnesota DNR (state.mn.us). Applications are due to the DNR by Aug. 31.

If you have any questions, contact program staff: Audrey at Audrey.Mularie@state.mn.us, 651.259.5549 or Mai Neng at Mai.N.Moua@state.mn.us, 651.259.5638.