So what is a SCORP?
The Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP) identifies recreational amenities, needs and issues existing throughout the state of Louisiana. The document, updated every 5 years, outlines a plan for balancing environmental conservation with providing recreational facilities and provides key information for determining the distribution of federal funds through the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).
- Louisiana’s previous SCORP can be found within the Louisiana State Parks website.
- Every state in the union is required to produce a SCORP. The Society of Outdoor Recreation Professionals maintains a library of the SCORP documents from each state on their website.
Why is the SCORP important?
The SCORP is a plan. This plan identifies the types of outdoor recreational uses or facilities which may be lacking and communities within the state where they are needed. Wherever the plan identifies a shortfall in availability of public outdoor recreation amenities either by type or by location, grant funds can be targeted to fill those needs. Much of this comes through the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) administered through the National Park Service.
What are LWCF grants?
In a nutshell, LWCF is federal legislation established in 1964 which directs earnings from offshore oil and gas leases towards public outdoor recreation lands, cultural sites and recreation facilities in each state. The program is divided into a “Federal Side” and a “State Side”, with policies and funding priorities specific to each. Louisiana receives most of its LWCF grants through the State Side program, distributed to specific projects in communities throughout the state according to needs identified in the SCORP.
Where are examples near me?
As of March 2019 Louisiana had received nearly $78M in LWCF dollars which were matched equally with local funds for outdoor recreation site acquisitions or improvements. When the 722 individually funded projects are consolidated by location we have a list of over 530 park sites distributed across Louisiana. These range from tennis courts at public schools to boat ramps, ballfields to playgrounds…and more! Click and zoom around this map to find an LWCF-funded park near you.
Why should you care about the SCORP?
Because chances are one or more parks near you were partially funded by the federal government’s offshore oil & gas lease revenue. If you don’t have such a park or amenity, maybe your community should be in line for an LWCF grant…