California State Parks is now accepting applications from public entities to provide outdoor recreational experiences to their communities through the federal Outdoor Recreation Partnership Program (ORLP). In the sixth phase of this competitive grant program, a total of $192 million is available nationwide for communities with limited or no access to publicly accessible and nearby outdoor recreation opportunities.
“Everyone deserves access to high quality outdoor experiences,”ssaid state parks director Armando Quintero. “A swimming pool, hiking trails, picnic areas and soccer fields can bring people, families and communities together and build healthy communities. We invite public entities to compete for this program.
ORLP is a grant program of the Federal National Park Service established in 2014 and funded by the Land and Water Conservation Fund. The program finances the acquisition or development of new parks, or substantially renovates parks in economically disadvantaged cities or cities with at least 30,000 inhabitants. Eligible applicants include cities, counties, state agencies, federally recognized Native American tribes, joint authorities all of whose members are public agencies, park districts, and special districts with authority to acquire, operate, and maintaining public parks and recreation areas. The maximum grant request per application for this round is $10 million.
California public entities wishing to apply for the program should submit their applications to State Park’s Office of Grants and Local Services (OGALS) for consideration. The most competitive state-selected entries that best meet ORLP’s intent are then forwarded to the National Park Service (NPS) to compete in the ORLP’s national competition.
NPS has established two application opportunities through Round 6, referred to as Rounds 6A and 6B. As such, to meet the need, California has set the following initial application deadlines: Round 6A – September 1, 2022 and Round 6B – December 15, 2022.
Applications received from Round 6A will be screened by October 2022. From October 2022 to January 2023, applicants with the most competitive applications will receive guidance from OGALS in consultation with the NPS on how to complete the application full federal. For more information about the program, such as project eligibility requirements, to register for an upcoming application workshop, and to access the online application portal, please visit California ORLP webpage.
OGALS develops grant programs to fund projects by local, state, and nonprofit organizations. Since 1964, more than 7,700 community parks throughout California have been created or improved with grant funding from OGALS. Since 2000, the program has administered approximately $3.8 billion in grants across California.