Applicants must contact program staff to discuss eligibility and obtain application materials.
The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) State and Local Assistance (SLA) program provides grants to designated state agencies, and through them to local units of government, for projects that will provide outdoor recreation opportunities to the public.
The Department of Defense (DOD) Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration (REPI) program protects the nation's military readiness, enhances relationships with communities, preserves the environment and improves military installation and community resilience to climate change.
Under 10 U.S.C. 2684a, the REPI program funds cost-sharing partnerships for the military with state and local governments and private conservation organizations. These partnerships obtain easements or other land interests from willing sellers or promote natural resource management and military installation resilience to preserve critical areas, resources and natural infrastructure near military installations.
In coordination with Congress and the DOD, the Secretary of the Interior is establishing a special competitive funding initiative. The LWCF State Assistance and REPI Partnership Challenge Program seeks to fund projects that will acquire and enhance lands for public outdoor recreation within the geographic scope of an agreement between a state, local government or conservation-focused non-governmental entity and a military department, pursuant to 10 U.S.C. 2684a.
Projects must meet the dual purposes of providing outdoor recreation opportunities and promoting or supporting compatible land uses and avoiding incompatible development in areas in the vicinity of, or ecologically related to, a military installation or military airspace, and/or to maintain or enhance the climate resilience of one or more military installations ("REPI program areas"). The projects will serve the general public and military families.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MNDNR) is the lead agency for this funding opportunity. All proposals must be submitted by the state on behalf of subrecipients, or for eligible state projects.
How it works
MNDNR is soliciting project proposals from eligible applicants and conducting the initial review and evaluation. As the lead agency, only MNDNR can submit applications to the National Park Service (NPS) under this program.
Minnesota's active REPI area surrounds Camp Ripley. Eligible projects that fall within the REPI partnership opportunity area can apply. Select "REPI partnership opportunity areas" from the layer list and zoom in to Minnesota on the REPI interactive map. The outer blue line shows the eligible project area.
Please review the NPS Notice of Funding Opportunity for REPI program requirements.
To be eligible, an applicant must be one of the following:
- MNDNR, or
- MNDNR on behalf of another state agency or local unit of government (also known as "subrecipient" or "project sponsor").
- Acquisition-only, or
- Acquisition and development of outdoor recreation facilities ("combination").
Land acquisition or combination acquisition-development projects meeting the following factors:
- Meeting a priority outdoor recreation need or goal as identified in the State Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP) as well as that of the community or communities, and that will provide compatible land use within the REPI program area.
- Creating or expanding public outdoor recreational opportunities for the general public, including for nearby residents and military families associated with the military installation within the REPI program area.
- Located within an active REPI program area.
- Promoting compatible land uses for military installations within REPI program areas, particularly land uses related to compatible recreation development, advancing conservation or climate resilience (only if offering compatible public access) and related uses advancing the goals of a REPI partnership.
Acquisition of land may be in fee simple or a lesser interest, such as an easement, if sufficient rights, including the right for the public to access and recreate on the site and excluding rights for non-recreation uses, in perpetuity, would be provided. All projects must meet requirements for perpetual outdoor recreation use.
LWCF-assisted outdoor recreation areas and facilities must be open to the public and not limited to special groups. For example, a project open to military families only will not be allowable.
If the project will include compatible recreation development, LWCF assistance is available for a range of outdoor recreation uses and the facilities needed to support the use and enjoyment of these areas, such as restrooms or changing areas. These uses include community parks, sports fields and courts, picnic areas, swimming pools, trails, campgrounds, etc.
- Indoor recreation or buildings that do not support outdoor recreational activities.
Level of assistance
Approximately $40 million is available nationwide.
NPS will award grants for up to 50 percent of the total eligible costs with a minimum grant award of $250,000 and a maximum grant award of $5,000,000. REPI projects must be cost-shared with non-federal funds (local share) and/or DOD REPI funding at a minimum ratio of 1:1.
The local share can consist of cash or in-kind contributions of materials, labor and equipment or any combination thereof. At the time of application, the cost-sharing or matching share must be secured or firmly committed with a signed letter from the donor confirming the type (cash, in-kind, etc.) and the amount/value of the contribution.
DOD REPI funding may be used to "satisfy any matching funds or cost-sharing requirement of any conservation or resilience program of any federal agency notwithstanding any limitation of such program on the source of matching or cost-sharing funds." REPI funds can be used to supply the required cost-share that would otherwise have to be supplied independently. This will require a letter from the DOD REPI program.
Costs must be incurred and paid for before reimbursement can be made.
State application deadline
Applications are due to the DNR's Parks and Trails Division by Friday, July 28, 2023 at 11:59 p.m.
Federal award notices
NPS anticipates preliminary selection of projects will occur by January 1, 2024.
Projects cannot begin until a final application has been submitted and approved by NPS and an agreement between the applicant and the State has been signed. This process can take up to a year to complete after NPS preliminary award notices. The performance period for these grants is typically two to three years.
How to apply
Please contact program staff to discuss your project and the application requirements to ensure your project meets eligibility requirements.
Applications are due to the DNR's Parks and Trails Division by 11:59 pm on Friday, July 28, 2023. To apply, merge all documents (checklist, application, attachments) into one PDF and email to [email protected].
[email protected] or 651-259-5579
MNDNR Parks and Trails Division
500 Lafayette Road, Box 39
Saint Paul, MN 55155