ATLANTA, GA – The Georgia Department of Natural Resources today announced the selection of the Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Program “Conserve Georgia” grants for conservation and outdoor recreation projects. Selected applicants will be invited to the second and final level of the application process for their proposals, which would result in $19.86 million of funding to benefit local parks and trails systems and state-owned lands. Grantees will join with private, public, and non-profit partners to help provide the support to leverage the state outdoor stewardship dollars with an estimated $77 million in additional match funds.
“This program is a dynamic and lasting initiative for the future of conservation in Georgia. We look forward to working with state and local partners to increase recreational access and protect critical conservation areas,” said Mark Williams, Commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources. “We are excited about these projects and the potential impact on the communities across Georgia.”
Conserve Georgia grants are awarded through the Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Program (GOSP). In November 2018, Georgia voters passed Amendment 1 to authorize the Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Act with an astounding 83% support. GOSP is Georgia’s first source of dedicated funding for the conservation of priority lands, the stewardship of state parks and wildlife management areas, and the support of local parks and trails.
For the inaugural 2019-20 grant cycle, eligible applicants, which include local governments, recreation authorities, state agencies, and certain non-profit organizations, cumulatively submitted 58 applications requesting a total of $78 million dollars in grant funding. The Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Trust Fund Board of Trustees reviewed all projects and selected a slate of proposals, which was subsequently approved by the Board of Natural Resources and the Appropriations Subcommittees of the State House of Representatives and State Senate over DNR.
Of the 14 selected,