Montana State announced today that Land & Water Conservation Fund Program federal grants are available to local, public and outdoor recreation projects in Montana. Applications are due by March 16, 2012.

“It’s exciting to have this federal funding to help strengthen outdoor recreation projects in our state,” said Tom Reilly, Assistant Administrator for Montana State Parks.

Cities, counties, school districts, conservation districts, Indian tribes, and others are eligible to apply. Typical facilities funded in the past include ball fields, campgrounds, golf courses, ice-skating ponds, picnic facilities, tennis courts, outdoor swimming pools, and playground equipment.

The federal Land & Water Conservation Fund Program (LWCF), established in 1965, encourages a partnership between national, state and local governments in planning and funding outdoor recreation.

The maximum federal grant per project is $75,000 and the grant may provide up to 50 percent of a local project’s total costs. There is a total of $200,000 in federal funding available to be awarded.

Project sponsors must be a city, county, school district or similar official state entity or sovereign Indian Nation within Montana. The sponsor must own the project site, or have control of the property under a long-term lease from the federal government. The sponsor must have adequate resources to operate and maintain the area after the project is complete. The LWCF program provides no funds for routine operation and maintenance. The area within the project boundary must be maintained for public outdoor recreation in perpetuity. Applicants must include the results of a recent outdoor recreation survey that demonstrates support from local citizens.

fwp.mt.gov/recreation/grants/

(406) 444-3753