Ottawa County Park District providing $200,00zero in outside recreation grants

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PORT CLINTON – Applications are now being accepted for the 2023 Parks and Trails Improvement Grant Program, which offers $200,000 in outdoor recreation grants through the Park District of Ottawa County. Any Ottawa County political subdivision, public school, or public library is welcome to apply for funding to improve public outdoor recreation facilities, green spaces, or walking trails within the county.

Application deadline is February 24th.

“It’s open to all political subdivisions, including townships and villages and any other county agency, like the Soil and Water Conservation District,” said Ottawa County Parks District Executive Director Jannah Wilson. “We also included public libraries and public schools.”

The funding of safe routes for young people is encouraged

Schools are welcome to submit grant applications for outdoor recreation projects, including requests for funds to improve safe routes to schools projects. Safe Routes to Schools is an Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) program that provides funding for routes that “encourage and enable students in kindergarten through twelfth grade to walk or bike to school” and those that do not infrastructural activities related to route ODOT information.

“We included schools because there are a lot of connections to schools that we’d like to see,” Wilson said. “Some schools could build on the funding they have received from the Safe Route to Schools program and some need funding to get started. It’s a great ODOT program. This is an idea that has been brought to our attention.”

In 2022, nine scholarships were awarded in the district

Last year, nine recipients received Parks and Trails Improvement Grants that partially funded outdoor recreation projects. These grants funded new playground equipment at Portage Park in Port Clinton, a welcome center in Marblehead and restrooms at Veterans Park in Genoa. The largest grant recipient in 2022 was the Oak Harbor Riverwalk Project, which received $59,900.

“Last year our goal was to cast a bigger net because it was our first year. We wanted to help fund as many projects as possible to get people aware of the program,” Wilson said. “This year we can finance sub-projects or entire projects. It depends on how many projects are submitted and how they are evaluated and prioritized.”

Wilson will host virtual grants briefings on Wednesday, January 18 at 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. Email Wilson at [email protected] to receive the link.

Digital applications are available at ottawacountyparksoh.org/grants. Grant applications can also be obtained by emailing Wilson or by making an appointment to pick up an application at the park district office. Applications are due on February 24 at 4:30 p.m. The scholarship recipients will be announced in March. 8th.

“We’re trying to move this forward quickly so grantees can get started on their projects,” Wilson said.

The Park District of Ottawa County Office is located at 3979 E Knoll Crest Dr. For more information, visit ottawacountyparksoh.org or call 419-707-4051.

Contact correspondent Sheri Trusty at [email protected]