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).

2018 LWCF and RTP Grant Round Timeline
Dec. 15 Applications and Application Guides Available for Download
Jan. 9-10 Application Workshops
Feb. 2 Due Date for Courtesy Review by Grants Staff
Feb. 16 Applications Due (must be postmarked by Feb. 16)

The 2018 rounds for the Land and Water Conservation Fund and Recreational Trails Program grants are now closed. We anticipate the 2019 grant rounds will open in December 2018.

Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF)

playground equipment with slides 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 50 percent match. All funded projects must be maintained in perpetuity for public outdoor recreational purposes. 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 more than $87 million dollars for projects 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. Pending the success of the program, we anticipate that the National Park Service will host another ORLP grant round in 2018.

Recreational Trails Program

a concrete trailThe 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. Project sponsors must contribute a minimum match of 20 percent of the total cost of the project.

Missouri has received $25 million dollars since the program began in 1993 for projects throughout the state.

More on RTP


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


Grants Management Section: 573-751-0848

LWCF Information:  573-751-8462

RTP Information:   573-522-8191

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.