CA State Parks opens application for recreation program grants

By SDCN Editor

Sacramento, CA–California State Parks is now accepting applications from public entities to provide outdoor recreational experiences to their communities through the federal Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership (ORLP) Program. 

In the seventh round of this competitive grant program, a total of approximately $224.1 million is available nationwide for communities with limited or no access to publicly available, close-by, outdoor recreation opportunities. Up to $15 million can be requested per project.

“This federal grant program is a potential game-changer for park-poor communities,” said California Natural Resources Deputy Secretary for Access Katherine Toy. “It supports the expansion of parks and outdoor spaces in communities that need them most, and will help foster connections for those who lack access to those spaces.” 

“We encourage eligible applicants to apply for this exciting opportunity that can transform the health and wellness of communities,” stated California State Parks Director Armando Quintero. “This opportunity to request up to $15 million per application can lead to significant park development projects that bring people, families, and communities together.”  

ORLP is a National Park Service grant program established in 2014 and funded through the Land and Water Conservation Fund. The program funds the acquisition and development of new parks, or substantial renovation of parks in disadvantaged communities. Projects must be within incorporated cities or towns of at least 30,000 people. Eligible applicants include cities, counties, state agencies, federally recognized Native American tribes, Joint Powers Authorities where all members are public agencies, park districts, and special districts with authority to acquire, operate, and maintain public park and recreation areas.

Public entities in California must submit an application to State Parks for review by Jan. 31, 2024. The most competitive applications that best meet the ORLP intent will be forwarded to the National Park Service for further consideration at the national level.

For additional program information and to register for an upcoming application workshop, visit California’s ORLP webpage.

State Parks develop grant programs to provide funding for local, state, and nonprofit organization projects. Since 1964, nearly 8,000 community parks throughout California have been created or improved from State Parks grant funding. Since 2000, the program has administered approximately $3.8 billion in grant funding throughout California.

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