LAND AND WATER CONSERVATION FUND (LWCF)
Stateside Assistance Program
Congressional Action: NRPA calls on Congress to fund LWCF Stateside
Assistance at $125 million for FY 2010.
Parks and recreation resources are important components to the economic vitality of communities throughout
our county by improving health and wellness, advancing environmental education, increasing property
values, attracting businesses and reducing air and water pollution. The growth of communities in recent
years has expanded the significance of these resources and dramatically increased the demand for healthy
active recreation opportunities, environmental stewardship, and safe, livable communities. Unfortunately,
the National Park Service reports that our country is faced with $27 billion in unmet needs relative to outdoor
recreation resources. This problem is further compounded by the 80% reduction in funding for the LWCF
Stateside Assistance program that has occurred over the past 8 years. As result, communities throughout our
country are faced with deteriorating recreation resources that threaten their health, safety and economic
The Land and Water Conservation Fund Stateside Assistance (LWCF) program is a matching grant program
that provides funding to state and local governments for the acquisition of land and the development of
outdoor recreation areas and facilities. Grant recipients are required to match LWCF grants dollar for dollar
and to keep the land and facilities in protected status in perpetuity and, therefore, open to the public
forever for recreation and enjoyment. The purposes of the program is to meet state and local needs for
outdoor recreation opportunities and to help strengthen the health and vitality of the American people by
collaborating with states and local governments to ensure access to close-to-home recreation resources.
Over the 44-year life of the program, LWCF Stateside Assistance program has created and rehabilitated
parks, open space, playgrounds, wildlife habitat, and wetlands. The program has had extraordinarily broad
reach during this time and has:
Provided more than $4 billion in matching funds to states, territories, and local communities. (More
than $61 million in matching funds was leveraged by local communities in 2008);
Funded over 41,000 local and state projects in 98% of American counties. (In 2008 alone, more than
300 communities received LWCF stateside assistance funding);
Helped create thousands of athletic and playing fields, hiking trails, campgrounds, swimming and
boating facilities, hunting and nature areas;
Aided in the development or expansion of hundreds of state parks.
Return On Investment
Economic Stimulus: According to the Outdoor Industry Foundation (OIF) “active” outdoor
recreation (which includes bicycling; camping; fishing; hunting; paddling sports; snow sports;
wildlife viewing; trail-running, hiking, and climbing) contributes $730 billion annually to the U.S.
Creation of Jobs: Studies show that 20 jobs are created for every $1 million invested in
infrastructure construction. LWCF projects such as such as resurfacing playgrounds, installation of
irrigation systems, and electrical upgrades to park and recreation facilities create and sustain
thousands of local jobs.
Tax Revenue: Outdoor recreation generates $88 billion in annual state and national tax revenue.
For More Information on LWCF: LWCF projects organized by state or county can be viewed at: