National Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership Program

Program purpose:

The National Park Service is targeting projects that will create or reinvigorate parks and other outdoor recreation spaces located in jurisdictions delineated by the Census Bureau for the 2010 Census as comprising densely settled territory that contains 50,000 or more people. In addition, projects that seek to directly connect people to outdoor places in their communities; engage and empower underserved communities and youth; provide opportunities for youth employment or job training; involve and expand public-private partnerships, particularly to provide for the leveraging of resources; and rely on a high degree of coordination among all levels of government, to improve recreation opportunities for all will be a priority.

How it works:

The MN Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is soliciting project proposals from eligible applicants and conducting the initial review and evaluation to select the top two candidates to be submitted for competition under the National Program. Only the DNR can submit applications under this program and is limited to two applications.

Eligible applicants:

State agencies, political subdivisions such as cities, counties, and special purpose districts such as park districts; and federally-recognized Indian tribes that are organized to govern themselves and perform the functions of a general purpose unit of government are eligible to apply.  However, to be eligible for this competition the political subdivisions or tribes must represent or otherwise directly serve one or more of the 497 jurisdictions delineated by the Census Bureau for the 2010 Census as comprising densely settled territory that contains 50,000 or more people.  A list of these areas was published in the Federal Register on March 27, 2012 (77 Fed. Reg. 18652-18669). Individuals, nonprofit organizations, and private organizations are not eligible.

For Minnesota this includes:

Eligible projects:

Acquisition or development (or a combination) of lands and facilities that will provide outdoor recreation opportunities to the public. All park projects must meet requirements for perpetual outdoor recreation use.

Level of assistance:

Grants are reimbursed based up to 50 percent of the total eligible costs. The maximum grant award is $500,000 and the minimum grant award is $250,000. The local share can consist of cash or the value of materials, labor and equipment usage by the local sponsor or by donations or any combination thereof. Costs must be incurred and paid for before reimbursement can be made. No more than one application may be submitted by an eligible applicant.

This program finances projects using federal funds through the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LAWCON). The National Program has 3 million dollars available.

Funding priorities:

Applications that are complete and meet eligibility requirements; competition criteria priorities stated in the application and the priorities outlined in the State’s Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan.

The 2014-2018 State Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP) PDF icon. (4.8 MB) is Minnesota’s outdoor recreation policy plan. It establishes outdoor recreation priorities for Minnesota to assist outdoor recreation and natural resource managers, the state legislature, and the executive branch in decision-making about the state’s outdoor recreation system and sets out criteria for awarding grants consistent with these identified priorities.

Selection notices:

State Selection Notices

The DNR will notify applicants in August 2014 if their project has or has not been selected to compete in the National Program.

Federal Award Notices

Proposal review will begin in August 2014. A ranked list of proposals should be completed in September 2014. The NPS will select proposals from the ranked list within the amounts available. The NPS will then request final grant applications for projects selected for funding shortly thereafter.  The proposed project timeline should assume an award start date between January 1, 2015 and April 1, 2015.

Project period:

Projects cannot begin until all requested final documentation has been submitted and an agreement between the applicant and the State has been signed. Funded projects must begin promptly after an agreement has been signed. All work must be completed no later than December 31, 2017.

How to apply:

Applications are due to the DNR, Division of Parks and Trails by August 1, 2014. To submit the application, email a pdf version of the application and attachments to

Contact information:

Park grants contacts

Audrey Mularie, Southern Minnesota, North Metro
or 651-259-5549

Joe Hiller, Northern Minnesota, South Metro
or 651-259-5538

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
Division of Parks and Trails
500 Lafayette Road, Box 39
Saint Paul, MN 55155

Related DNR programs: