NEEF and the Department of Defense Legacy Program

NPLD DoD Award Frequently Asked Questions

What are the National Public Lands Day Department of Defense Awards?

The Department of Defense (DoD) Natural Resources Program provides funds to the National Environmental Education Foundation for National Public Lands Day (NPLD) partnership projects on military lands that are open to the public for recreation. Funds are available for base-level projects on any DoD site that supports the goals of National Public Lands Day: to improve the quality of public lands and to educate the public about natural resource issues and stewardship.

For this year's awards, all natural and resouce stewardship projects that meet eligibility requirements are eligible, but special attention will be given to projects that celebrate the 100th anniversaries of Armistice Day and/or the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

What is the date of NPLD this year?

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Who is eligible for DoD funds?

NPLD projects that take place on DoD lands that are open to the public for recreation, including those managed by the US Army, Air Force, Marine Corps, National Guard, or Navy. Lands managed by the US Army Corps of Engineers are not eligible for Legacy Award funds. 

Can a civil contractor that works for DoD apply for funds?

No, a civil contractor that works for DoD is not eligible for funds. However, a civil contractor can apply through an installation.

How can I apply for a NPLD DoD Legacy Award?

All applications are submitted online. Click here to apply!

When are the applications due?

Click here to apply.

How much can funding is available, per site?

Each site can apply for up to $9,500. However, there is no guarantee that the requested amount will be awarded in full.

If multiple projects are planned, can a site submit more than one application?

 A site can submit more than one application.

How is money distributed to the sites?

NEEF is able to send funds directly to awarded sites in the form of a check. The site must be able to accept and cash checks; award checks cannot be made out to individuals. If your site is unable to accept and cash checks, funds must be paid to the vendors from whom the site is purchasing equipment and supplies for the project. NEEF will require awarded sites or their vendors to submit check requests and will reimburse vendors for all items purchased that pertain to the awarded project. A receipt or invoice must accompany each check request.

What is covered by Legacy funds?

Funds may be used for tools, equipment, materials, and enhancements to land used by the public.

Award funds cannot be used for:

  • Lobbying, propaganda, or attempting to influence legislation in any way.
  • Influencing the outcome of any specific election through any means.
  • Covering budget shortfalls, general support or endowment funds.
  • Land acquisition or real estate purchases.
  • Giveaways or gift item, such as t-shirts.
  • Purchasing food.
  • Paying for labor or salary costs.
  • Scholarships, fellowships or grants to individuals.
  • Any costs not directly related to the funds requested in the proposal.

Purchasing items required to complete work (e.g., small tools, garden gloves) is allowable. Funding for signage will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, and may be allowable provided the signage is installed by the volunteers during the event. Funding requests for tools and signage should be balanced against other project needs.

Do all NPLD events have to be held on September 22, 2018?

Alternate dates for NPLD events may be allowed for those regions where weather conditions during September are prohibitive.

Regardless of the scheduled date of the project, all applicants must register their event for National Public Lands Day. Register here. 

What are the themes of this year's NPLD DoD Awards?

While all natural and resouce stewardship projects on the aforementioned DoD lands are eligible, special attention will be given to projects that celebrate the 100th anniversaries of Armistice Day and/or the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and that contribute the restoration and reslience of DoD lands. Please see definitions below.

What are the responsibilities of the site manager after being awarded funds?

It is the responsibility of site managers to submit check request forms and a final report/evaluation. Awarded sites are required to complete a final report/evaluation that will document the site improvements. Satisfactory final report/evaluations include a detailed description of accomplishments and how the funds were spent. Pictures and videos of the event are highly encouraged.  Final report/evaluations are forwarded to the DoD Legacy Office as project documentation for each site.

    Whom should I contact with questions about the award or the application process?

    Contact NEEF's Grants Department at