Outdoor Recreation Grants

Missouri State Parks administers two federally funded grant programs for outdoor recreation, the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and the Recreational Trails Program (RTP).

Grant rounds for 2016 for both programs are now open. For the 2016 LWCF grant application, click here. For the 2016 RTP grant application, click here. The deadline to submit applications for both programs is April 22, 2016.

Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF)

The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) is federally funded through the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service. The program is intended to create and maintain a nationwide legacy of high-quality outdoor recreation areas and facilities.

Land and Water Conservation Fund grants are available to cities, counties and school districts to be used for outdoor recreation projects. Projects require a 55 percent match. All funded project sites are taken under perpetuity by the National Park Service and must only be used for outdoor recreational purposes and open to the public. Development and renovation projects must be maintained for a period of 25 years or the life of the manufactured goods.

Since 1965 Missouri has received over $86 million dollars for just nearly 1,600 grants in 900 park sites in every county in the state.

In Missouri, LWCF is currently open to local governments and public school for the acquisition, development and renovation of outdoor recreation sites.

 More on LWCF


The Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership Program (ORLP) is a new grant program funded through the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service. The program was created in 2014 as a complement to the Land and Water Conservation Fund grant program, and seeks to identify and highlight new ways of promoting opportunities for expanding outdoor play in areas with great need, as well as promoting the development of new or enhanced partnerships for outdoor recreation in urban communities across the nation. For 2016, $15 million nationwide has been set aside by Congress for outdoor recreation projects. Eligible applicants include local government agencies such as cities, counties, and public school districts within an urbanized area as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau and with a population of 50,000 or more residents. Applications must be submitted by April 29, 2016.  For more information or to request an application packet, email [email protected] or call 573-751-0848.

Recreational Trails Program

The Recreational Trails Program (RTP) is federally funded through the Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). The purpose of this program is to promote motorized and non-motorized recreational trails.    

Recreational Trails Program grants are available to local and state governments, school districts, for-profit and non-profit organizations and businesses. Eligible project categories include constructing new recreational trails, maintaining or renovating existing trails, developing or renovating trailheads or trail amenities, acquiring land for recreational trails, or purchasing or leasing trail maintenance equipment. The grant maximum is $150,000 for trail projects and $10,000 for educational projects. Project sponsors must contribute a minimum match of 20 percent of the total cost of the project.

Missouri has received $24 million dollars since the program began in 1993 and has funded 342 trail projects throughout the state.

More on RTP


Missouri State Parks, Grants Management
PO Box 176
Jefferson City, MO  65102-0176     

[email protected] [email protected][email protected][email protected]              

Grants Management Section: 573-751-0848

LWCF Information:  573-751-8462

RTP Information:   573-751-3442

Missouri State Parks Bus Grant Program

Bus grants assist schools and nonprofit organizations with the transportation expenses of field trips and outdoor learning opportunities at Missouri state parks and historic sites. 

Bus grants are available to schools and youth-focused nonprofit organizations located in Missouri. Applicants can request up to $500; no match is required.  A map of state parks and historic sites is available here.

Bus Grant Application and Guide

For more information about the Missouri State Parks Bus Grant Program, please call 573-522-8773.