Frequently Asked Questions (LWCF)

Ephraim's new splash pad.
Ephraim’s new splash pad.

What are examples of eligible LWCF grant projects?

The LWCF may be used to develop outdoor recreation facilities including, but not limited to: ball fields, sports courts, spray parks, golf courses, public restrooms, swimming pools, skate parks, and walking trails. Land acquisitions for public outdoor recreation are also eligible for LWCF.

Who may apply?

Any political subdivision of the state or sovereign Indian Nation is eligible to receive LWCF grants.

What is the required match?

The LWCF grant is a 50-50 matching reimbursement program. A project sponsor must make full payment on all project expenses and submit documentation of the eligible expenditures and reimbursement request to the LWCF grant coordinator.

When do you receive your federal funding and how much funding is available?

The LWCF is a federal grants program contingent upon an appropriation from Congress. Funding is usually made available in spring of each year. In 2021, Utah’s appropriation was approximately $2.8 million in the general Land and Water Fund and another $1 million in GOMESA funds.

Does the local or state government need to own the land before they can receive a development grant?

Yes, proof of ownership is one of the requirements for grant selection.

What are the long-term commitments required by the LWCF program?

Properties acquired, developed, or improved must be retained in perpetuity (forever) for public outdoor recreation.

  • Once an LWCF grant is used to develop or acquire a recreation site, no part of the site however small may be converted to any other use.
  • No commercial facilities, buildings, or any other use that excludes outdoor public recreation may occupy land and facilities encumbered by LWCF. Examples – cell towers, community centers, new roads/highways, fire stations, and city offices. Access to the project site must be on publicly-owned roads and roads must meet all applicable engineering and safety standards. Applicant must have funds to operate and maintain the area after the project is complete. Funding for ongoing maintenance is not available.

What is a 6F boundary map?

The 6F boundary is the area being protected in perpetuity by Section 6 (f) (3) of the Land and Water Conservation Act of 1965. The 6F boundary ensures the project area provided by the sponsor is a viable recreation unit. The map is the record used by the National Park Service and the LWCF grant coordinator to record the outdoor recreation site and/or facilities encumbered by 6F funds.

What is a letter of commitment?

This is a letter from a willing donor of the property, materials, funding, or services stating their intent/commitment to donate to the project sponsor.

Can I use land already owned by the city or town as a match for a LWCF grant?


Who administers the LWCF program?

The National Park Service provides federal oversight for the grant program. The State of Utah, by and through Utah State Parks and Recreation, administers the LWCF stateside program for the National Park Service.

Can I close a LWCF encumbered facility during the off-season?

No. The park facility must be open during reasonable hours for public use. Some exceptions include holidays and dangerous field conditions.

What do you mean by site inspections?

Every five years, the program coordinator will physically inspect your LWCF facility for compliance with program requirements. Recreation areas found in non-compliance will be notified in writing of the problems and given a timeframe for remediation. Once an LWCF grant is used to develop or acquire a recreation site, then no part of the site, however small, may be converted to any other use. If a conversion of use is discovered on the site, the LWCF grant coordinator will provide the sponsor direction on the conversion of use process and a timeframe for initiating the process. The project sponsor is responsible for all required costs, documentation, and replacement of converted land and facilities.