OLYMPIA – The Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO) will begin accepting applications in mid-February for grants to build parks, trails, ball fields and boat moorage as well as to conserve wildlife habitat and working farms and forests.

These grants are the largest source of state funding for many of Washington’s outdoor recreation experiences and the sole source of state funding for conserving working farms and forests. This is the only opportunity to apply for these grants until 2022.

“These grant programs give cities, counties, tribes, land trusts, state agencies and others the ability to improve their communities,” said Kaleen Cottingham, director of RCO, which administers the grants. “The grants also contribute to Washington’s outdoor economy. These grants are key to not only giving people great places to enjoy their favorite outdoor activity but to helping Washington’s economy stay strong.”

Starting on Feb. 13, the Recreation and Conservation Office will begin accepting grant applications for the following types of projects:

  • Boating–Development and renovation of guest moorage facilities for boats 26 feet and longer, and acquisition and development of facilities for non-motorized boats such as kayaks and canoes.
  • Parks–Acquisition and development of parks, ball fields, sports courts, outdoor swimming pools and waterfront access areas for the public.
  • Trails–Acquisition and development of trails.
  • Farmland Preservation–Conservation of valuable farmland.
  • Forestland Preservation–Conservation of forestland to ensure they remain available for timber production in the future.
  • Wildlife Habitat Conservation–Conservation of significant natural areas and habitat for plants and animals, including areas along streams and other waterways.

Grant applications are due May 1. More information about the grants is available on the RCO’s Web site. Funding for these grants comes from federal and state sources.

“Competition for these grants is always high,” Cottingham said. “We encourage people to bring their best proposals forward and we have experienced grants managers who can help. The scoring is done by citizens in open public meetings to ensure the selection is fair and that the best projects get funded.”

Questions? Find your outdoor grants manager online.