Colorado Parks and Wildlife Accepting Grant Applications for Parks and Outdoor Recreation Opportunities

The National Park Service (NPS) Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership Program (ORLP) opportunity is a $40 million competitive grant program offered through the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), administered by the Colorado Parks and Wildlife State Trails Program. The State of Colorado is allowed to submit four grant proposals to compete on a national level against other states. Project proposals will be submitted to the CPW State Trails Program and will be reviewed and selected by CPW. The NPS Washington Office will review and select the final projects.

The goal of the program is to support the acquisition and/or development grant projects that create or reinvigorate parks and other outdoor recreation spaces in urbanized communities that are underserved in terms of parks and recreation resources and where there are significant populations of people who are economically disadvantaged. Specifically, the program is intended for areas located within jurisdictions delineated by the Census Bureau from the 2010 Census as urbanized areas. These areas will have a population of 50,000 or more with high density.  Colorado cities/jurisdictions on this list include Denver, Aurora, Lakewood, Boulder, Colorado Springs, Fort Collins, Greeley, Grand Junction, Lafayette, Louisville, Erie, Longmont, and Pueblo.

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The NPS will prioritize the selection of projects that will:

  • Directly connect people to outdoor places, particularly in communities that are underserved* in terms of parks and other outdoor recreation areas and have significant numbers of individuals who are economically disadvantaged, create short-term and/or permanent jobs.
  • Help stimulate local economic development.
  • Engage and empower members of the affected community in the development of the project.
  • Create or expand public-private partnerships, particularly to provide for the leveraging of resources, and rely on a high degree of coordination among the public, multiple levels of government, and the private sector, to improve recreation opportunities for all.
  • In addition to the competition objectives, selected projects must advance goals of or otherwise meet priority recreation needs identified in their state’s Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP).
* For the purposes of this competition, “underserved communities” are those with: (1) no existing parks; (2) some existing parks but not enough to support the size of the population of the service area or otherwise able to satisfy existing recreational demand; or (3) some existing parks (potentially even an adequate number of parks) that are so deteriorated/obsolete or underdeveloped that a major redevelopment or rehabilitation would significantly increase the number of people who could be served and/or significantly increase the types of recreational opportunities that would be provided (in a way that could be equated to the impact of a new park).

Eligible applicants include state and local government agencies and federally recognized Indian tribes. The ORLP program can fund the acquisition and/or development projects. To be eligible for either an acquisition or a development grant, the project must involve publicly owned land and the project sponsor must possess sufficient legal title and control of the property to ensure that it can be managed and maintained for outdoor recreation in perpetuity and otherwise remain compliant with the conversion provisions of the LWCF Act.

Additionally, projects must have adequate matching funds. The matching fund requirement is a minimum 1:1 ratio with non-Federal funds. This means the grant can fund up to, but not more than, 50% of the total project cost. Matching funds may be derived from state, local, non-governmental or private sources in the form of cash or in-kind contributions.

In Colorado, proposals must be submitted to Colorado Parks and Wildlife for review no later than April 27, 2020. CPW will then submit up to four proposals on behalf of Colorado to the National Park Service by early July 2020.

To prepare an application: 

•    Applicants are encouraged to review the National Park Service’s ORLP Financial Assistance “Notice of Funding Opportunity, P20AS00029, dated 1/31/2020.” Follow this link to the federal webpage: Grants.gov

•    Applications can be found on the CPW Trails Webpage

Email or mail application “postmarked” by Monday, April 27, 2020 to:
Colorado Parks and Wildlife
State Trails Program
13787 South Hwy 85
Littleton, CO 80125
Dnr_trails@state.co.us