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The Land and Water Conservation Fund

Understanding the LWCF, an active partner with states and communities.

The Land and Water Conservation Fund

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Congress passed Public Law 88-578 in 1964 to create the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) as a large grant program to acquire, create and promote outdoor recreational opportunities for the American people. The program operates as a long-term partnership with state and local entities. The LWCF is a competitive grant program that pays up to 50% of the cost of a project, which then becomes the permanent responsibility of the project sponsor. The LWCF is administered by the National Park Service (NPS), but with the implementation partnership and oversight responsibility of designated state conservation agencies. In our state, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) is the legal partner with NPS for implementation of the LWCF.


The City of Red Bank applied for a LWCF grant in 1969, and received the grant in 1970. When Red Bank accepted that grant, it agreed to the legal responsibility to maintain and operate the entirety of Morrison Springs Park for public outdoor recreation in perpetuity.

This page of the website contains vital information about the LWCF, including the federal law, the federal regulations, the policy manual used by TDEC and NPS to guide implementation, and summary documents to explain the program and highlight key points. 

Laws, Regulations, Policies and Synopses of the LWCF

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