The Outdoor Recreation, Parks and Trails Program (ORPT), formerly known as the Delaware Land and Water Conservation Trust Fund (DTF), is a matching grant program assisting with public park land acquisition and outdoor recreation facility development in Delaware.
The program was established in 1986 with annual deposits from real estate transfer tax to grow the Trust. Trust-generated income is used to fund the Program.
Since 1988, when the first grants were awarded, the program has provided over $32 million in matching grant assistance to eligible local, county and state governments throughout Delaware.
Municipal and county governments, and park districts, may apply for grant funding under the Outdoor Recreation, Parks and Trails Program.
Grants may be awarded for projects such as park land acquisition, planning and design of parks or trails, and outdoor recreation facility construction.
Grants have funded a wide range or projects, including picnic tables, benches, playgrounds, lighting, maintenance and restroom facilities, skate parks, trails and bridges.
Eligible sponsors must submit the Pre-Application form no later than June 9, 2021. Full applications are requested by Sept. 15, 2021.
In May 2021, the Division of Parks and Recreation hosted an informational webinar on the ORPT grant program. The webinar provided an overview of the program, answered questions about the application process and potential projects for consideration, and previewed potential future changes to the program.
Applications received by Sept. 15, 2021 will be reviewed jointly by the Parks and Recreation Council and the Greenways and Trails Council who make funding recommendations to the Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) by the end of the calendar year.
The DNREC Secretary will execute grant agreements during the first quarter of 2022.
For more information, contact Michael Tholstrup, Outdoor Recreation Planner, at 302-739-9215.