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Land and Water Conservation Fund Grants Now Available

Department Seeks Local Proposals for Public Outdoor Recreation Projects

Photo of Pirate’s Wharf in Worcester County

Pirate’s Wharf in Wicomico County

The Maryland of Department Natural Resources announced that counties and municipalities can now apply for grant funding from the National Park Service’s Land and Water Conservation Fund. Communities are encouraged to apply and submit preliminary application forms by Dec. 18, 2018.

“I encourage communities across Maryland to take advantage of this grant opportunity aimed at enhancing outdoor recreation and overall quality of life,” Maryland Natural Resources Secretary Mark Belton said. “If you are working to recruit and retain a solid base of businesses, residents or visitors, perhaps it’s time to consider adding or expanding an outdoor amenity or facility, be it a bike trail or boat ramp.”

Land and Water Conservation Fund projects must be in direct support of public outdoor recreation. Eligible proposals include the acquisition, development and maintenance of outdoor recreational areas, facilities and properties, including athletic fields, boat launches, fishing piers, playgrounds, trails and more. Municipalities and counties are eligible for up to a 50 percent matching fund with requests capped at $800,000.

Two local examples of Land and Water Conservation Fund-approved projects:

  • Cecil County was awarded $200,000 for the Bittersweet Development, a project that includes trail renovations, a playground and fitness equipment at Brantwood Park.
  • Wicomico County was awarded $820,000 for Pirate’s Wharf Development, a project that includes a master plan, boat launch, playground, trails, picnic pavilion and bathrooms.

Since its inception, the Land and Water Conservation Fund program has funded over 350 projects throughout Maryland. The national program is administered by the U.S. Department of the Interior.