LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KAIT) — The Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism on Friday, March 4 awarded more than $3.6 million in outdoor recreation grants awarded to projects in 25 counties across the state.
The grants are divided into two categories: Matching Grants and Facilities for Underdeveloped Neighborhoods (FUN) Park Grants.
The Outdoor Recreation Grants Program has provided $47.2 million in matching grants since 1988 and nearly $11 million in FUN Park grants since 1991.
“There is no question that these grants to Arkansas cities and counties have had an impact, resulting in increased access to outdoor recreation and a better quality of life for our state’s residents,” said Stacy Hurst, Secretary of Parks, Heritage and Arkansas tourism.
Officials said in a news release Monday, March 7, that resources like these have become more important than ever during the pandemic.
“Whether it’s tournament-sized ball fields on the outskirts of town, playgrounds and basketball courts tucked away in unique neighborhoods, or tiny parks downtown that offer workers and errands a little peace and shade, local parks allow people to reconnect with their neighbors and the things they love about their hometown,” said Matt McNair, director of the Outdoor Recreation Grants program.
Some of the 2022 Matching Grant recipients are cities in Northeast Arkansas:
- Bald Knob (White County) – $130,000.00 to develop two picnic shelters with tables, install a new impact surface play structure and improve accessibility at Collision Park, and install field lighting at the Bald Knob Sports Complex.
- Batesville (Independence County) – $146,004.00 to install a pedestrian bridge and improve access to Riverside Park and install a new play structure at Kennedy Park.
- Brookland (Craighead County) – $225,000.00 for the development of two new parks (Smith Street and East Ridge Parks) with pavilions, park facilities, play areas, hiking trails, basketball facilities and access.
- Cave City (Sharp County) – $75,834.13 for the construction of a new playground with accessibility and fencing at Cave City Park.
- Mountain View (Stone County) – $90,000.00 to repair and refurbish existing town pool and improve safety and playground access at Stone County Recreational Complex.
- Rose Bud (White County) – $48,000.00 for the construction of toilet facilities, stage areas and improving access to Rose Bud City Park.
- Searcy (White County) – $55,000.00 for access development, fencing and land improvement at Riverside Park; improving access to the Searcy Sports Complex; and replace old play equipment and impact pads at Yancey Park.
2022 FUN Park Grant recipients in Northeast Arkansas also include:
- Letona (White County) – $75,000.00 to install new play equipment and improve access to Letona City Park.
- Moorefield (Independence County) – $75,000.00 for the development of a trail, picnic areas, benches, fences and access improvements at Moorefield Town Park.
- Peach Orchard (Clay County) – $75,000.00 to construct a gazebo, install picnic tables and replace existing outdated playground equipment at Peach Orchard Park.
- Sidney (Sharp County) – $75,000.00 for playground equipment replacement, access improvement and installation of benches, grills and impact pads at Sidney Park.
- Swifton (Jackson County) – $75,000.00 to install new playground equipment, benches and access improvements at Swifton City Park.
- Tuckerman (Jackson County) – $75,000.00 to replace obsolete play equipment and associated fall zone material and provide accessible parking and access to the playground, restroom and pavilion at Tuckerman City Park.
To learn more about the Outdoor Recreation Grants Program, click here.
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