Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF)

The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) Program is a federally funded grant program that provides match funds of 50% for outdoor recreation area development and acquisition. Iowa's cities and counties are eligible to participate.

Competition for LWCF funds is intense; but this program provides an excellent opportunity to develop a wide range of outdoor recreational projects that are in high demand. Popular projects in recent years have included skate parks, playgrounds, new and renovated swimming pools, sport complexes, campgrounds and multipurpose trails.

Initial screening for Section 106 clearance will be done by the DNR in partnership with the National Park Service. All "Requests for SHPO Comment on a Project" need to be forwarded to the DNR along with the LWCF grant application. Please be sure that all information is correct and complete. If you have any questions, please contact Nick Dellaca at 515-380-0171.

Grant Application Submission and Deadline:
The LWCF grant application and materials are updated on a yearly basis by January 15th. The annual deadline for the LWCF grant applications is 4:30 pm, March 15th, or the closest working day thereof. Submit one complete grant application electronically to Nick Dellaca at

Mail one (1) original and two (2) copies to Nick Dellaca at:
Iowa Department of Natural Resources, LWCF Program
Wallace State Office Building
502 E. 9th Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50319

Guidelines and Application Documents:
Land and Water Conservation Fund Guidelines and Application (required)

Reference Documents:

National LWCF Competitive Grant: Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership (ORLP) Program
Fifth Grant Round of the Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership (ORLP) Program Preapplications are due August 23, 2021 The purpose of this grant opportunity is to target and fund projects what will create or reinvigorate parks and other outdoor recreation spaces located in Census-delineated urbanized areas with populations of over 50,000. Selection priorities are for projects that will directly connect people to outdoor places, particularly in communities that are underserved in terms of parks and other outdoor recreation areas and have significant numbers of individuals who are economically disadvantaged; create short-term and/or permanent jobs; help stimulate local economic development; engage and empower members of the affected community in the development of the project; create or expand public-private partnerships, particularly to provide for the leveraging of resources; and rely on a high degree of coordination among the public, multiple levels of government, and the private sector, to improve recreation opportunities for all. Additionally, the project must advance goals of or otherwise meet priority recreation needs identified in Iowa’s SCORP. Outdoor recreation areas and facilities assisted through this program must be open to the general public, and may not be converted to other than public outdoor recreation uses. The DNR, as the state lead agency, may apply on behalf of local governments and Indian tribal governments who submit projects which meet the grant criteria. For more information about this grant opportunity, contact Rhonda Fowler at 515-975-8569.

City & County LWCF Grants Funding Requests and Approvals:

The following are cities and counties that have submitted grants for LWCF for the current year and past years.

Grant Money Allocation

The amount of LWCF grant money available to cities and counties depends on population.

The population categories and respective grant amount ceilings are shown below:

Population Maximum
0 - 1,000 $ 50,000
1,001 - 5,000 $ 75,000
5,001 - 10,000 $100,000
10,001 - 25,000 $125,000
25,001 - 50,000 $150,000
50,001 - 75,000 $175,000
Over 75,000 $200,000

LWCF funded projects within the State of Iowa

This map includes the locations of LWCF funded projects within the State of Iowa. Click on the blue dots to view the project number, project sponsor (city/county/state), park or project name, description and the funding received.