Land and Water Conservation Fund Grant Program

Land and Water Conservation Fund Logo

The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) is a federal grant program administered by the Department of Interior, National Park Service.  The goal of LWCF is to increase quality opportunities for outdoor recreation.  It consists of a Federal Side and a State Side.  The State Side program provides funding to the State of Connecticut, through DEEP, for recreational planning, acquisition of lands and waters, and facility development.  Additional information on the history of the Land and Water Conservation Fund can be found on the NPS LWCF webpage.

DEEP is currently seeking proposals for the Federal Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership Program (ORLP).  Eligible projects can be matched up to 50% with a minimum award of $300,000 and a maximum award of $15,000,000.  Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis, and the final due date for submission to DEEP is March 01, 2024.  Eligibility requirements, selection criteria, and submission instructions can be found at THIS LINKFor questions contact Cameron Clegg via email at Cameron.Clegg@ct.govCompliance

Since the program was created in 1965, the LWCF has provided over $60 million to develop and enhance many of Connecticut’s outdoor recreational resources.  Any property that has benefited from the assistance of LWCF must be maintained for outdoor public recreation.  Through the acceptance of federal grant aid, recipients of LWCF funding have agreed to:

  • Make the property available for public outdoor recreation;
  • Maintain the project area and ensure it is accessible;
  • Keep the property open for public use;
  • Provide signage at the property indicating property is open for public outdoor recreation.
If you have any questions about a property that may have benefited from LWCF funding, please contact Lindsay Suhr, LWCF Coordinator, at


Outdoor Recreation Planning

Current recreational needs in Connecticut are assessed through the development of a Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP).  This planning document identifies outdoor recreation matters of statewide significance and evaluates the supply of, and the demand for, outdoor recreation resources and facilities in Connecticut.  Connecticut’s SCORP provides unified guidance to State and municipal officials as they develop and expand outdoor recreation opportunities for their respective constituents.

In addition to its value as a planning document, the completion of SCORP satisfies a requirement of the National Park Service's LWCF, which then makes Connecticut eligible to receive its annual apportionment from the LWCF State Side program.

Connecticut's current SCORP covers the planning period of 2017 through 2022 and identifies the following outdoor recreation goals:

Connecticut’s 2017-2022 Outdoor Recreation Goals
Goal 1: Protect, conserve, and manage Connecticut’s natural, cultural, and historical resources as they support outdoor recreation.
Goal 2: Provide clean, safe, well-maintained outdoor recreation areas and facilities.
Goal 3: Ensure that all residents and visitors can locate and access all outdoor recreation areas and facilities.
Goal 4: Promote healthy lifestyles through increased participation in outdoor recreation.

Additional Resources

The National Park Service's LWCF is one of several programs that works to benefit outdoor recreation in Connecticut.  For more information about outdoor recreation in Connecticut, please see the following links.

State Parks and Forests
Connecticut Rail Trail Explorer
Open Space in Connecticut
Connecticut Coastal Access Guide
No Child Left Inside®

Content Last Updated:  February 2023