Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF)

Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF)

Federally-funded program that provides 50% matching funds for outdoor recreation area development and acquisition.

Eligible Project Criteria

Eligible projects include, but are not limited to:

Observation and sight-seeing facilities; including hiking, biking, equestrian, cycle, snowmobile, and nature trails
Picnic facilities, including open shelters
Camping facilities
Swimming facilities, including beaches, pools, bathhouses, and related equipment
Winter sports facilities, including ski runs/lifts, outdoor skating rinks, tobogganing and sledding slopes, warming huts, etc.
Playground equipment and outdoor sports facilities such as ball fields and game courts, golf courses, etc.
Sport shooting areas for skeet, trap, rifle, pistol, and archery
Lake and pond construction for boating, fishing, and aesthetic purposes
Landscaping and plantings for wildlife food and cover
Renovation or redevelopment of existing facilities which have deteriorated or become outdated.
Support facilities including roads, parking, signs, walkways, utility systems, lighting, restrooms, concession buildings, trailer dumps, fences, etc.
Acquisition of land specifically for active outdoor recreation purposes

Additional Requirements and Information

Applicants are required to show a relationship between their project and the Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP)

Prior to grant submission: LWCF grant application are required to send their project information to the Office of State Archaeologist (OSA) for an initial review of the project and include the response from OSA with their application Materials. After applications are submitted with the response from OSA and if the grant is approved to move forward, DNR then works through the Section 106 process and approval with the applicant, NPS and Iowa SHPO. Further specifics on the Section 106 process can be found in the LWCF Guidelines and Application on page 5 and 26.

All required information must be included on the project maps, as per the grant application guidelines.

Reimbursements are made only on costs incurred and paid by the grantee during the project period as identified on the grant agreement. The only exception to this is on “pre-agreement planning costs,” which can include site investigation and selection, site planning, feasibility studies, preliminary design, environmental assessment, preparation of cost estimates, and construction drawings and specifications.

Local entities are eligible to receive annual assistance from the LWCF in accordance with the following schedule:

Population of Area of JurisdictionLWCF Assistance Ceiling*
0 – 1,000$50,000
1,001 – 5,000$75,000
5,001 – 10,000$100,000
10,001 – 25,000$125,000
25,001 – 50,000$150,000
50,001 – 75,000$175,000
Over  75,000$200,000
*Some exceptions apply – see full grant guidelines for details


Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR)

Eligible Applicants

Iowa cities and counties

Application Deadline

April & May

Award Announcement

Application review will take place in April with award announcements following the review.

Contact Person

Nick Dellaca
Iowa Department of Natural Resources Program, LWCF
502 East 9th Street
Des Moines, IA 50319
Phone: (515) 380-0171