Two federal grant programs administered by Nebraska Game and Parks Commission are accepting applications from communities across Nebraska for recreation improvements.
Applications for the Recreation Trails Program and Land and Water Conservation Fund are due Sept. 9, 2022. Grants recommended for approval will be announced during the January 2023 Commission meeting.
The Recreational Trails Program is a grant program through the Federal Highway Administration that reimburses political subdivisions – such as communities, counties and natural resources districts – up to $250,000 or 80% of project costs for trail acquisition, development, renovation and support facilities.
Applicants must have the financial means to undertake and maintain the project and all funding should be on hand as this is a reimbursable grant program.
This funding source is for motorized and non-motorized trail projects. It is divided by category: 30% of funding utilized for motorized, 30% for non-motorized projects and 40% for diversified or shared use trail projects.
The Land and Water Conservation Fund, a program administered by the National Park Service, provides matching funds for outdoor recreation projects.
Eligible projects include, but are not limited to, ballfields, soccer fields, swimming pools, picnicking facilities, playgrounds, pool renovations, splash pads, park acquisitions and development, wildlife viewing facilities, fishing access, hike/bike trails, adventure spots (such as ziplines and rock-climbing walls) and park-related support facilities.
All projects must encourage outdoor recreation. Project sponsors must be a political subdivision, such as cities, county governments or natural resource districts. The LWCF provides reimbursable matching grants for up to 50% of total project costs.
Grant sponsors should have all funding on hand at the time of grant application submission.
The LWCF grant award requests for an individual project must be between $40,000 and $400,000, equating to a $80,000 to $800,000 in total project costs.
The LWCF was established by Congress in 1964 to ensure access to outdoor recreation resources for present and future generations and to provide money to governments to purchase land, water and wetlands to benefit all. The primary source of revenue for the LWCF is from federal oil and gas leases on the Outer Continental Shelf.