Local public outdoor recreation projects may be eligible for up to $75,000 in federal 2005 Land & Water Conservation Fund grants.
Since 1965 Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks has administered over $33 million in LWCF funding
"We encourage all eligible sponsors to apply, but the applications do require considerable planning, so we give ample notice of the grant application deadline and offer guidance on preparing the applications,” said Walt Timmerman, Chief of the Recreation Bureau for FWP's Montana State Parks Division.
Cities, counties, school districts, conservation districts, Indian tribes, and other interested parties will soon receive a mailing announcing the Feb. 18, 2005 LWCF application deadline.
Project applications for LWCF funding are scored and ranked by a selection committee using a set of standard criteria. Typical projects are ball fields, campgrounds, ice-skating ponds, picnic facilities, tennis courts, playground equipment, and hiking trails.
Project sponsors must make full payment on all project expenses before being reimbursed for up to 50 percent of allowable costs. A grant sponsor may include agency work-force, cash, and in some special cases, land as its portion of the costs. Volunteer services and donated material are not eligible as grant matching funds. Additional LWCF Program provisions include:
* A grant sponsor may 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.
Detailed information is available on the FWP website at: www.fwp.state.mt.us/parks/grants.asp, or call 406-444-3750.