Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership (ORLP) Program

Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership (ORLP) Program

Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership (ORLP) Program was established by Congress in 2014 and is administered by the National Park Service (NPS) under the authority of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) Act.  The nationwide ORLP program funding is for urban areas within cities or towns of at least 50,000 people.  Priority is given to projects located in economically disadvantaged areas that lack outdoor recreation opportunities.

Plan Ahead: Send a Concept Paper Now!

Due to the fast turnaround time involved with this program, we invite applicants to submit a one-page concept paper to your assigned Competitive Review Project Officer ahead of the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) that is released from NPS, generally in the spring.  In past rounds, due to the narrow window between when the NOFO is released and the application deadline, applicants have needed to turn in applications to California State Parks within approximately one month.  In order to give applicants more time to plan projects, we will now accept concept papers so that OGALS can provide early feedback regarding scope and project site eligibility.  

OGALS is accepting concept papers now through the start of the next competitive cycle.

One-Page Concept Paper Elements:

  • Applicant Agency Name and a Contact Person's Name, Title, and Email Address
  • Project Site Name/Project Site Location (must be in an urban city or town of at least 50,000 people).  Provide either the project street address or a Community FactFinder report.  Economically disadvantaged communities are prioritized.
  • Proposed Project Scope – including whether the project is an acquisition, new development, or renovation.  Creation of new outdoor recreation opportunities are prioritized over renovation projects.
  • Total Project Cost (and how much grant request vs. match amount).  In ORLP Round 5, applicants could request up to $5 million per application.
  • Match Sources (The grant can fund up to, but not more than, 50% of the total project cost).  Identify funding sources, as well as a statement of understanding that the grant funds are reimbursement only, so a cash flow source must also be planned.
  • Statement of understanding that park will be placed under federal protection for outdoor recreational use in perpetuity should the grant be awarded.  This means the site, if funded, shall remain for outdoor recreation use in perpetuity.
  • Statement of understanding that Section 106 and NEPA will be required, should grant be recommended for funding.
  • Statement of understanding that if the application is selected to go through entire ORLP process, it may be approximately two - three years before construction may proceed.

Please note that since a NOFO for the next round has not been released, OGALS’ guidance will be based on the general intent of ORLP from previous rounds.  NPS' guidelines have changed in past rounds and the next NOFO could also release new guidelines.  In addition, NPS has not yet established a date for the next competitive round.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Application Due Date: TBD by next Federal NOFO

Amount of Funding Available: In the last round, there was $150,000,000 Nationwide with a maximum of $5 million per grant.  This may change in the upcoming round.  

Minimum Grant Amount: $300,000 (in the last round)

Maximum Grant Amount: $5,000,000 (in the last round)

Match Requirement: 1:1 minimum

The grant can fund up to, but not more than, 50% of the total project cost.

Eligible Project Types

  • The ORLP program can fund acquisition and/or development projects.
  • Preference is given to projects that will acquire and/or develop land to create a new park in 2010 Census-delineated urbanized areas.

Projects that are suited for ORLP will be:

  • Impactful projects, meaning the creation of new outdoor recreation areas/resources that do not currently exist in the project area.
  • Project responds to need of, and serves, economically disadvantaged communities
  • Projects must be in densely populated urban areas (location of at least 50,000 people).  Projects should be within 10-minute walk of target community.
  • Project must provide new OUTDOOR opportunities.

Renovation of existing parks will be less competitive and are not the best fit for the ORLP program.

Eligible Applicants 

  • Cities
  • Counties
  • State agencies
  • Federally recognized Native American Tribes
  • Joint Powers Authorities where all members are otherwise eligible under the LWCF
  • Park districts, and special districts with authority to acquire, operate and maintain public park and recreation areas. 

 How to Apply: TBD.  Information will be made available here if National Park Service releases a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) in 2022.