Land and Water Conservation Fund


As of August 4, 2020, the Land and Water Conservation Fund is fully and permanently funded through the Great American Outdoors Act.

After more than five decades of bipartisan efforts, full and dedicated funding of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) is the law of the land. The Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA) is a victory for public lands and outdoor recreation in the United States. The GAOA guarantees $900 million every single year for the LWCF and resolves the longstanding $12 billion maintenance backlog in our protected national lands.

The summer of 2020 was a monumental for outdoor enthusiasts. The GAOA was introduced to the Senate in March 2020 and passed with 73 votes in June 2020. In July 2020, the House of Representatives passed it by a margin of 310 votes to 107. After weeks, months, and years of tireless advocacy, the President signed bill into law on August 4, 2020.

About the Land and Water Conservation Fund

The LWCF is a visionary program for protecting our nation's special outdoor places. The LWCF has funded the protected of some of our most iconic landscapes in the Northeast. Learn more about the LWCF.


The LWCF has invested more than $336 million to protect New York's beloved forests, parks, wildlife refuges, and increase recreation access. The LWCF has protected places like Gateway National Recreation Area, Sterling Forest, Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge, Adirondack Lakes, and the Coney Island Boardwalk. These investments into the outdoors fuels New York's economy too; outdoor recreation is a $41.8 billion industry and supports 313,000 jobs. That's $14 billion in wages and salaries and, produces $3.6 billion in state and local tax revenue annually.

Without this program, critical conservation efforts and projects would be in limbo. The LWCF Coalition, along with millions of Americans and organizations, including Parks & Trails New York, are united in the push this program forward.

Funding opportunities through the LWCF

  • LWCF Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership Program - Established by Congress in 2014 and administered through the National Park Service, the Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership Program is funded through the LWCF State and Local Assistance Program. This grant program is targeted at projects that will "create or reinvigorate parks and other outdoor recreation spaces to encourage people to connect or re-connect with the outdoors". Projects serving marginalized communities and that stimulate economic development strongly encouraged to apply. The application window for this grant is currently closed; the grant opened on March 24, 2020 and closed on June 5, 2020.

Please continue to check back as more grant and funding opportunities may become available in the future.