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Match Waiver for Opportunity Area projects

The Conservation Futures grant program can provide a “match waiver” for Opportunity Area projects, which means that CFT funding could pay 100% of the eligible project acquisition costs.

There are many neighborhoods in which the past history of inequities, discrimination, injustices, and limited regional investment is evident today and affects the daily life of the residents. Providing a match waiver is intended to help “eliminate disparities in access to public open spaces and trails in communities with the greatest and most acute needs.” (cited from the King County Land Conservation Advisory Group, Final Report). This program is part of the equity focus of the King County Land Conservation Initiative.

Qualifying as an Opportunity Area

A project may qualify for a match waiver if it is determined to be in an Opportunity Area. There are two ways to qualify as an Opportunity Area. 


Equity Map

The map image to the right shows the areas of the county that meet three mapped criteria: 

  • in the lowest 1/3 of census tracts for income,  
  • in the highest 1/3 of ZIP codes for hospitalization rates,  
  • and lack open space access within ¼ mile in an urban area, or within 2 miles in a rural area.  

You can view qualifying areas on interactive map viewer, or consult a larger version of the map shown to the right

If your project location isn’t on the map, you can apply using the method below. 


Projects located outside of the mapped areas also can qualify, if you can tell us how the people served by your project disproportionately experience limited open space access and demonstrated hardships (such as income, health, social or environmental factors; sometimes described as a lack of some of the Determinants of Equity). You can get a data report from Ingrid Lundin or by using our interactive map viewer

Key Steps for Applicants

  • Match waiver/opportunity area projects must show community engagement, and applicants need to include two letters of support with the application. Community engagement should be recent. The Committee wants to see engagement at the local/neighborhood level, involving the nearby communities or population that would be served by the area, and/or community groups or nonprofits associated with those populations. The Committee is interested in how community leadership has been is integrated into the engagement process and/or will be part of site development. 

  • All applicants for the match waiver/opportunity area determination must submit "Supplemental Form #1" on the application.
  • When you meet with the Committee, please be prepared to talk about how your local government is working on equitable community development and preventing displacement of residents in the neighborhood where you propose to add greenspace.