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Land and Water Conservation Fund

Land and Water Conservation Fund

The Land and Water Conservation Fund Act of 1964 (LWCF) was established to assist federal, state and local governments in the acquisition and/or development of public outdoor recreation facilities. Administered at the federal level by the National Park Service and at the state level by the Bureau of Parks and Lands in the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, LWCF grants can provide up to 50% of the allowable costs for approved acquisition or development projects for public outdoor recreation.

The Land and Water Conservation Fund Manual, provides detailed information about the overall Land and Water Conservation Fund program requirements. The grant documents below provide specific information about the Maine LWCF grant applications process. Eligible agencies are encouraged to contact the Grants and Community Recreation program at the address below for assistance and guidance in the application process.

Contact Information

Grants and Community Recreation
Bureau of Parks and Lands
124 State House Station
Augusta, Maine 04333
(207) 624-6090
Doug Beck, Outdoor Recreation Supervisor
E-mail address:

Application Materials


Maine State Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP)

LWCF Stewardship Obligations


Go here for all forms and complete information.


Recreational Trails Program

Recreational Trails Program

Application Deadline for All Grants:

5PM Friday, September 29, 2017 Late or incomplete applications will not be accepted.

Refer to application checklist (appendix) for what is needed in a complete application.

For more information

  • Please select the application guidance document to the right for the grant you are interested in.

Anyone considering applying is encouraged to attend one of these five RTP workshops.

Pre-Register Online Now

To help plan for the workshops, please pre-register for your preferred workshop location by Clicking This Link which will take you to a quick and simple on-line form. 

For more information about the Grants & Community Recreation Program, please contact Doug Beck at (207) 624-6090 or

  • 2-4PM - Tuesday, April 11, 2017 - Washington County Community College, Assembly Room, Calais ME
  • 2-4PM - Thursday, April 13, 2017 - The Gem Theater, 2nd Floor, Bethel, ME
  • 2-4PM - Thursday, April 20, 2017 - City of Waterville Council Chambers, Waterville, ME
  • 2-4PM - Tuesday, April 25, 2017 - City of Sanford Council Chambers, Sanford, ME
  • 2-4PM - Thursday, April 27, 2017 - Caribou Recreation Center, Caribou, ME

What is the Recreational Trails Program?

The Recreational Trails Program (RTP) is an assistance program of the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). The RTP provides funds to the States to develop and maintain recreational trails and trail-related facilities for motorized and nonmotorized recreational trail uses.

The Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act reauthorized the Recreational Trails Program (RTP) for Federal fiscal years 2016 through 2020 as a set-aside of funds from the Transportation Alternatives (TA) Set-Aside under Surface Transportation Block Grant Program (STBG).

The State of Maine has agreed to take part in the Recreational Trails Program (RTP) under the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the federal agency that administers the program at the national level.

The Bureau of Parks and Lands has been designated the state agency to administer the program in Maine. Within the Bureau, the Grants and Community Recreation Program provides day-to-day supervision of RTP matters.

Recreational Trails Program Financial Policies

  1. 30% of RTP funds allocated to the state shall be reserved for uses related to motorized trail recreation
  2. 30% of RTP funds allocated to the state shall be reserved for uses related to non-motorized trail recreation.
  3. The remaining 40% of funds shall be used for recreational projects that facilitate diverse trail use.

Project Eligibility

Eligible projects may include:

  • Maintenance and restoration of existing recreational trails.
  • Development and rehabilitation of trail side and trailhead facilities and trail linkages for recreational trails.
  • Construction of new recreational trails.
  • Acquisition of easements or fee simple title to property for recreational trails or recreational trail corridors.
  • Operation of educational programs to promote safety and environmental protection as those objectives relate to use of recreational trails.

Who Is Eligible for RTP Grants?

The state has determined it will provide funds received under this program as grants-in-aid to municipalities, other qualified sub-divisions of state government and to qualified non-profit organizations under guidelines established by the Bureau of Parks and Lands in conjunction with the Maine Trails Advisory Committee.

How Are Grants Awarded?

Potential applicants may contact the Grants and Community Recreation Program, Bureau of Parks and Lands, to receive an informational packet and application.

Applications must be received by the announced deadline and contain all required material to be eligible for possible funding.

Applications will be evaluated by Bureau staff and the Trails Advisory Committee to determine their degrees of compliance with the established state goals for the program. All applicants will be notified in writing of project approval or disapproval.

Local Funding Share

Recreational Trails Program grants are made on a matching basis. The federal share of the project costs shall not be more than 80% (maximum grant amounts may be set by the state). The local share may consist of cash or state-approved donations of labor and/or materials.


Public Use and Access

Applications for RTP funding must stipulate full support of the program and must ensure public access to the recreation improvements funded by the grant.


Maine Goals for the Recreational Trails Program

  • Trails that provide linkages with existing or planned networks.
  • Trails that serve a wide spectrum of users.
  • Proposals that address landowners concerns.
  • Trails that provide relatively high use levels.
  • Proposals that provide "close-to-home" trails.
  • Proposals that enhance tourism and economic development.
  • Proposals that facilitate trail use for youngsters, seniors, and persons with disabilities.
  • Projects that are well planned.
  • Trails that are destination oriented.
  • Trails that further SCORP or other established planning goals.
  • Multiple use trail projects that address conflicts between user groups.
  • Proposals that have adequate matching resources.
  • Proposals that consider operation and maintenance needs.
  • Projects that leverage other private and public funding sources.
  • Projects that rehabilitate existing, well-used trails.
  • Projects that preserve rights-of-way for public recreation purposes.
  • Trails that provide high levels of user safety.
  • Trails that provide aesthetic or cultural benefits to users.
  • Projects that provide for reasonable longevity.