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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.

As noted in the King County Land Conservation Initiative Advisory Group Final Report, “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 helps “eliminate disparities in access to public open spaces and trails in communities with the greatest and most acute needs.” This program is part of the equity focus of the King County Land Conservation Initiative.

Opportunity areas map

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. Please visit the interactive map viewer to gather data about your project area. See these additional data sources to help make the case that your project is in a match waiver area.

1) Meet Three Mapped Criteria

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


Two women farming in a field

2) Tell Us Your Story

Projects outside of the mapped areas also can qualify, if you can tell us how the people served by your project experience limited open space access and demonstrated hardships (such as income, health, social or environmental disadvantages; sometimes described as a lack of some of the Determinants of Equity).

Key Steps for Applicants

Connect With Us – We Can Help

Please contact Ingrid Lundin, Conservation Futures Coordinator, to discuss your project, even if it's just an idea. We’d love to talk with you about whether your project may be a good fit for a match waiver.

Four people planting a tree

Engage Your Community

Community engagement is critical in this process. In your application and during the review process, the review committee will want to hear about your past, current, and planned engagement of your community in developing your project. Be prepared to tell us how your project responds to your community’s stated goals and provide two letters of support from community partners for your project. See here for a helpful toolkit on community engagement.

Consider The Big Picture

For governmental/agency applicants, we want to know how your local government is working on equitable community development and preventing displacement in the neighborhood where you propose to add green space. See here for a summary of research on this topic.