California State Parks Announces New Nationwide Federal Grant Funding Opportunity for Land Acquisition Near Military Installations


California State Parks today announced a new competitive grant program that will provide up to $80 million nationwide to fund acquisition of land adjacent to military installations that will serve as an encroachment buffer and enhance public outdoor recreation opportunities. The grant program is funded through the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) + Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration (REPI) program. Public entities can submit applications for projects that meet the combined goals of acquisition or for combination (acquisition and development) projects to create outdoor parks and recreation areas near military installations. 

The LWCF + REPI is a federal National Park Service (NPS) grant program established in March 2023 and funded through $40 million of unused LWCF funding and $40 million from the Department of Defense’s (DOD’s) REPI program. Applicants must establish an eligible and acceptable project plan with their local military installation and include a letter of support from the military installation in the LWCF + REPI application.Eligible applicants include cities, counties, state agencies, park districts and special districts with authority to acquire, operate and maintain public parks and recreation areas. Although federally recognized Indian Tribes are eligible for LWCF grants, they are not eligible to receive REPI funds; thus, the 50% match must come from a different eligible funding source. 

The maximum grant request per application is $5 million through LWCF. There is a 50% match requirement; however, NPS and DOD will collaborate to determine the projects that best fit both programs and may award up to $5 million through LWCF and $5 million through REPI, for a total project cost of $10 million.

Public entities in California interested in applying for the program must submit their application to State Parks’ Office of Grants and Local Services (OGALS) for review. The most competitive applications selected by the state that best meet the LWCF + REPI intent are then forwarded to NPS to compete in the nationwide LWCF + REPI program.

NPS established an August 2023 deadline for states to submit applications for the national competition. As such, to meet state-side review requirements, California has set the application deadline of Wednesday, July 19, 2023.  

Applications received will be selected by August 2023. From August 2023 through January 2024, NPS and DOD’s national review committee will review and award the most competitive applications received nationwide. For additional program information such as project eligibility requirements, please visit California’s LWCF + REPI webpage.

OGALS develops grant programs to provide funding for local, state and nonprofit organization projects. Since 1964, more than 7,700 community parks throughout California have been created or improved from OGALS’ grant funding. Since 2000, the program has administered approximately $3.8 billion in grant funding throughout California.

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California State Parks provides for the health, inspiration and education of the people of California by helping to preserve the state’s extraordinary biological diversity, protecting its most valued natural and cultural resources, and creating opportunities for high quality outdoor recreation.