The departments of Defense and the Interior announced a new partnership last week that will create the Readiness and Recreation Initiative to preserve land around military installations and improve access to outdoor recreation, according to a press release.

The National Park Service’s Land and Water Conservation Fund and DOD’s Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration Program will each contribute $40 million to the new initiative.

“This unique partnership serves as a valuable opportunity for DOI and DOD to collaboratively support projects that create and protect recreation opportunities, safeguard natural areas, and sustain critical military mission capabilities,” said Brendan Owens, assistant secretary of Defense for energy, installations and environment. “These grants will allow DOD’s REPI program to support on-the-ground partners to fund projects that enhance access to conserved land for local communities and military families, while ensuring the resilience of our military installations and ranges across the country.”

Air Force photo by Stephen Warns