The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announces a grant opportunity for the National Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership (ORLP) Program. The ORLP program, funded through the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), is a nationally competitive grant program. Applicants must be cities with a population of 30,000 or more according to the 2020 Census. The proposed project must serve the specific needs of a community that is severely lacking in walkable, publicly accessible, outdoor recreation ("park deserts"). In addition, the area in which the proposed project is taking place must have a poverty rate of at least 20% or that is at least 10% higher than that of the project city, county, and state rates.
To be eligible, an applicant must be one of the following:
- Cities with a population of at least 30,000 according to the 2020 Census. Eligible cities with population 30,000 or more PDF.
- Counties and special purpose park districts with park projects within or abutting a city with a population of at least 30,000 according to the 2020 Census.
- State agencies with park projects within or abutting a city with a population of at least 30,000 according to the 2020 Census.
Eligible projects include acquisition or development (or a combination) of lands and facilities that will provide outdoor recreation opportunities to the public. All projects must meet requirements for perpetual outdoor recreation use.
The ORLP Program has $192 million available nationwide. The minimum grant is $300,000 and the maximum is $10,000,000. Projects require a minimum of 1:1 match from non-federal sources.
Additional information and application materials are available on the DNR program webpage, National Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership (ORLP) Program | Minnesota DNR (state.mn.us). Round 1 applications are due to the DNR by December 20, 2022, Round 2 applications are due to the DNR by April 25, 2023.
They are in the process of posting a revised application based on additional guidance from the National Park Service.
If you have any questions, contact program staff: Audrey at Audrey.Mularie@state.mn.us, 651.259.5549 or Mai Neng at Mai.N.Moua@state.mn.us, 651.259.5638.