Federal funding available to expand outdoor recreation in South Carolina

August 3, 2023

SCPRT will accept LWCF pre-applications from public entities Aug. 7 – Sept. 20

Columbia, S.C. – The South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism (SCPRT) will soon begin accepting pre-applications from eligible local and state government entities for the 2024 Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) grant cycle. This federal program provides matching grants ranging from $50,000 to $300,000 for the acquisition or development of outdoor recreation areas and facilities.

Since 1965, the LWCF program has provided more than $60 million to support approximately 1,185 recreation projects in South Carolina. These projects include some of South Carolina’s favorite local parks, such as:

  • Blanding Street Park, City of Lake City
  • Isle of Palms County Park ADA Beach Access Boardwalk, Charleston County Parks & Rec
  • Gower Park, City of Greenville
  • Manchester Meadows, City of Rock Hill
  • New Riverside Barn Park, Town of Bluffton
  • Saluda Shoals Park Splash Pad Renovation, Irmo Chapin Recreation Commission
  • Virginia Acres Park, City of Aiken
  • Wise Street Park Renovation, City of Newberry

Thirteen projects across South Carolina were selected to receive more than $4.2 million in federal funding in the most recent LWCF grant cycle. Discover what parks and properties in your local area have received LWCF support over the past 58 years here.

LWCF is a reimbursable grant program requiring a 50% match. Projects of statewide or regional significance may qualify for up to $500,000 (with SCPRT’s pre-approval). Property must be owned outright by the applicant and only eligible state agencies and local governments may apply. Any property that uses LWCF funds must be maintained in perpetuity as an active and viable outdoor recreation venue.

Eligible entities interested in applying for the 2024 LWCF grant cycle must submit an online pre-application to SCPRT between August 7 and September 20. Find eligibility criteria, contact information, and learn more about the application process at scprt.com/recreation/recreation-grant-programs/land-and-water-conservation-fund.

SCPRT serves as South Carolina’s LWCF lead agency. The program is administered by the National Park Service.

On August 1, SCPRT announced the 2023 recipients of another federal grant, the Recreational Trails Program (RTP). This grant helps states provide and maintain trails for both motorized and nonmotorized recreational trail use and is available to government entities and qualified private organizations. SCPRT is accepting pre-applications for the 2024 RTP grant cycle through September 15.

Learn more about all of SCPRT’s grant programs at scprt.com/grants.


Image: City of Aiken Virginia Acres Park is a previous LWCF recipient that used the grant funding to replace the playground with ADA accessible equipment and ground surfacing.

About the Land and Water Conservation Fund: The Land and Water Conservation Fund has helped conserve thousands of acres across the United States. It was established by Congress in 1964 to fulfill a bipartisan commitment to safeguard natural areas, water resources and cultural heritage, and to provide recreation opportunities to all Americans. The fund helps strengthen communities, preserve history and protect the national endowment of lands and waters. Since its inception in 1965, LWCF has funded $5.2 billion to support more than 45,000 projects in every county in the country.

Need more information?   Sam Queen
Director of Corporate Communications
SC Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism
1205 Pendleton Street, Columbia, SC 29201
| 803-734-1779
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