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Outdoor Recreation and Legacy Partnership Program

Program objective

The Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership Program provides matching grants to states and local governments for the development of public outdoor recreation areas and facilities in urban areas.

This program is known as the National Land and Water Conservation Fund Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership Program. The purpose of this program is to provide new or significantly improve outdoor recreation opportunities for economically-disadvantaged communities in larger urbanized areas that are undeserved in terms of parks and other outdoor recreation resources. In Michigan, this program will be jointly administered by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and the National Park Service.

Michigan's 2018-2022 Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP) assesses the existing outdoor recreation facilities and resources and growing demands for recreation activities and evaluates national and state trends. The plan establishes priority strategies for achieving outdoor recreation goals and provides guidance for the next five years for all levels of government in Michigan and their local outdoor recreation partners and stakeholders.

Michigan's 2018-2022 SCORP


Applicants are evaluated using established criteria and alignment with Michigan's SCORP. The criteria used to evaluate the projects is determined and scored by the National Park Service (NPS). The criteria being used to score projects for this round are:

  1. Extent of outdoor recreation and economic needs.
  2. Appropriateness of project to meet community outdoor recreation and economic needs.
  3. Community involvement in, and support of, proposed project.
  4. Embracing new parks and innovative project attributes.
  5. Project alignment with SCORP and other applicable plans.

Detailed information on the scoring criteria and application requirements can be found in the FY21 ORLP Funding Opportunity and Requirements - NPS Document.

Applicant eligibility

Any unit of government, including Native American tribes, or any combination of units in which authority is legally constituted to provide recreation. Applicants must have a DNR-approved community five-year recreation plan to be eligible.

The purpose of the LWCF ORLP Program is to provide grants to for outdoor recreation purposes consistent with the purposes of the LWCF, but with the further specific goal of funding projects that:

  1. Are located within an urbanized Area that has a population of 50,000 or more as designated by the Census Bureau from the 2010 Census.
  2. Are located in or directly accessible to neighborhoods or communities that are underserved in terms of parks and recreation resources and where there are significant populations of people who are economically disadvantaged.

Application process

  1. Submittal of a pre-application
  2. Evaluation by DNR staff
  3. Selection by the DNR to the NPS
  4. Panel Review of pre-applications received nationwide
  5. Final approval of project by the NPS


Applications that are being mailed must be postmarked no later than July 30, 2021. Applications can also be emailed to Christie Bayus at

Dollar amount available

The minimum grant request amount is $300,000 and the maximum grant request amount is $5 million

Source of funds

Federal Land and Water Conservation Fund


Part 703 of P.A. 451 of 1994, as amended


Christie Bayus, grants program manager, at 517-242-8737 or or Grants Management Staff..