Outdoor Recreation, Parks and Trails Program

The DNREC 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.

Outdoor Recreation, Parks and Trails Program

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 $34 million in matching grant assistance to eligible local, county and state governments throughout Delaware.

Grant Eligibility and Application

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 complete the Pre-Application form no later than May 23, 2022. Full applications will be solicited from sponsors with eligible pre-applications and are requested by Sept. 15, 2022.

2022 Grant Program

Applications received by Sept. 15, 2022, will be reviewed by a joint council review committee and by the full Parks and Recreation Council and Council on Greenways and Trails. These Councils will 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 provide final approval and execute grant agreements during the first quarter of 2023.

For more information, contact Michael Tholstrup, Outdoor Recreation Planner, at 302-739-9215.