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Land and Water Conservation Fund
Land and Water Conservation Fund
Female hiker at Lory State Park, an LWCF recipient. Photo by CPW seasonal, Eric Schutte

​​​​​​Land and Water Conservation Fund Grant Program​

​​From parks to playgrounds, wilderness to wetlands, bicycle paths to hiking trails, the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) has helped government agencies nationwide to protect valuable natural resources and provide meaningful public recreation opportunities.

Enacted by Congress in 1965, LWCF is administered locally by Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) for the National Park Service (NPS). Since its inception, the program has distributed around $70 million in support of more than 1,100 Colorado-based projects focused on land acquisition to create new outdoor spaces, or the development of existing sites and facilities. 

Who can apply?

Local, County, State, or Tribal government agencies in Colorado.

Which projects are eligible?

Eligible project types generally include anything that people can recreate on, provided it is outdoors and open to the public. Applicants must own the land where the project is situated in fee simple and agree to protect it in perpetuity for outdoor recreation.

This simple test can be helpful in determining if your organization and project are eligible. 

How much funding is on offer?

Grants ranging from $100,000 to $1,250,000 are available but must be matched 1:1 with at least 10% cash. 

When is the next grant round?

  • August 2024 - Grant round opens
  • September 2024 - Pre-application submission due
  • October 2024 - Full application due

How can I apply?

Application documents are available below, along with the LWCF manual which provides detailed guidance for new applicants. Please ensure that the current years version (for all templates) is being used. 

​​What if I have questions about compliance for an existing LWCF site?

Information about ongoing maintenance, obsolete facilities, temporary non-conforming use permits, change of use, and conversions are all discussed in the LWCF manual below.



This document is a useful resource for new​ applicants as well as organizations with existing LWCF sites. It provides information on the entire life cycle of LWCF grants, from application, to selection, project completion, and perpetual stewardship requirements.

Application templates

*Right click, choose Save link as to download​

Other useful documents

2024 Grant Submissions


The current public review and comment period closes on Thursday, December 21, 2023. Any comments can be sent to​ by this date. 

The State Recreational Trails Committee and its grant review and ranking subcommittee meet annually to review LWCF grant applications. This meeting is open to the public and provides an opportunity for public comment.

​Contact us

Where can I find more information?​

All LWCF queries can be directed to the CPW staff listed below. This includes new projects and applications, or compliance for existing sites. 

​You can also join the mailing list​ to receive alerts for upcoming LWCF and ORLP grant rounds. ​

Chrystal Read | Federal Grants Administrator
303-791-1957 x. 4150 |​

Fletcher Jacobs | LWCF Alternate State Liaison Officer
303-791-1957 x. 4129 |​


The State of Colorado is committed to providing equitable access to our services to all Coloradans. Please contact for personalized accessibility assistance with the documents on this page, which are available in text format upon request.