The List of Grants

By June 11, 2012July 7th, 2015No Comments

The Park Service is finding out about more closures and conversions of federally protected parks than ever before. But no one knows just how many. Even today, the Park Service doesn’t have a full list of the parks that are protected under the Land and Water Conservation Fund Act.

The database compiled by InvestigateWest is a starting point. It lists every LWCF grant made between 1965 and 2011. Each record has a project name; a sponsor, which is often a town or city; and the state and county where the project took place. We invite readers to find parks in their hometowns and report back on any parks that have been closed or converted.

Choose your state to begin searching:


Alabama Kentucky North Dakota
Alaska Louisiana Ohio
Arizona Maine Oklahoma
Arkansas Maryland Oregon
California Massachusetts Pennsylvania
Colorado Michigan Rhode Island
Connecticut Minnesota South Carolina
Delaware Mississippi South Dakota
D.C. Missouri Tennessee
Florida Montana Texas
Georgia Nebraska Utah
Hawaii Nevada Vermont
Idaho New Hampshire Virginia
Illinois New Jersey Washington
Indiana New Mexico West Virginia
Iowa New York Wisconsin
Kansas North Carolina Wyoming


What’s included in the database?

There are two main types of grants: park grants and planning grants. Planning grants go to states to pay for a Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan, or SCORP, which is a five-year plan that defines LWCF priorities in each state. Park grants are used to acquire or develop parkland for outdoor recreational use. In general, no matter the size of the grant relative to the size of the park, the entire park gets federal protection.

How do you I find protected parks near me?

This is a big part of the problem. Only in the last ten years or so has the Park Service started to collect detailed location information. It’ll get better, but for now, you can only look up all the parks in your county. But try searching for your city or the name of a local park, too. It might be listed under the project name or grant sponsor.

What happens if I find a local park on the list?

The two main questions to ask are: Is it still available to the public for outdoor recreation? Do you remember any parts of the park being sold off or closed to the public in years past? If it has been closed or converted, every state has an LWCF representative. You can find their contact information here. The National Parks Service also has regional offices you can call.

Of course, please also let us know, and we’ll look into it: Email with the subject line: Parks for Sale.

Jason Alcorn

Jason Alcorn

Jason is InvestigateWest's associate director. A veteran of technology projects and online strategy for the nonprofit sector, he is a graduate of Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and Graduate School of Journalism.

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