The LAND Program (formerly the Self-Help Program) was established in 1961 to assist municipal conservation commissions acquiring land for natural resource and passive outdoor recreation purposes. Lands acquired may include wildlife, habitat, trails, unique natural, historic or cultural resources, water resources, forest, and farm land. Compatible passive outdoor recreational uses such as hiking, fishing, hunting, cross-country skiing, bird observation and the like are encouraged. Access by the general public is required.
- The PARC Program (formerly the Urban Self-Help Program) was established in 1977 to assist cities and towns in acquiring and developing land for park and outdoor recreation purposes. Any town with a population of 35,000 or more year-round residents, or any city regardless of size, that has an authorized park /recreation commission is eligible to participate in the program. Communities that do not meet the population criteria listed above may still qualify under the "small town," "regional," or "statewide" project provisions of the program.
The Conservation Partnership Grants provide funding to assist non-public, not-for-profit corporations in acquiring interests in lands suitable for conservation or recreation purposes.
The Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership Program is a special round of the Land and Water Conservation Fund that strives to directly connect people to outdoor places, particularly in communities that are underserved in terms of parks and other outdoor recreation areas.
The Our Common Backyards Grant Program is a new grant program aimed at building a new playground or spray park in each of the Commonwealth’s 54 cities. The program will help cities create or renovate parks in the neighborhoods that need them most.
- The Landscape Partnership Program seeks to preserve large, unfragmented, high-value conservation landscapes including working forests and farms, expand state-municipal-private partnerships, increase leveraging of state dollars, enhance stewardship of conservation land, and provide public recreation opportunities. The program offers competitive grants to municipalities, non-profit organizations, and EEA agencies acting cooperatively to permanently protect a minimum of 500 acres of land.
- Reimbursement funding for appraisals contracted in order to apply to any DCS grant program, Open Space & Recreation Plans (OSRPs), other plans to facilitate land conservation, and/or development of Natural Resources Protection Zoning/Open Space Residential Design bylaws. Available to all communities with a population of 6,000 or fewer people. Funding is non-competitive; all eligible applicants will receive contracts on a rolling basis until all available funding is allocated.
- The Federal Land & Water Conservation Fund (P.L. 88-578) provides up to 50% of the total project cost for the acquisition, development and renovation of park, recreation or conservation areas. Municipalities, special districts and state agencies are eligible to apply. Nearly 4000 acres have been acquired and hundreds of parks renovated using the $95.6 million that Massachusetts has received from the state side portion of the federal program since 1965. DCS administers the state side Land & Water Conservation Fund program in Massachusetts. Access by the general public is required.
This grant provides funds to assist public water systems and municipal water departments in protecting and conserving the quality and quantity of public drinking water supply sources in the Commonwealth. It is a reimbursement program.
- Planning and development of areas for public OHV riding areas. Link leaves DCS and will take you to the OHV program page.