OLYMPIA – Bremerton city officials will receive a symbolic check Wednesday for earning top scores in two state competitions that resulted in grant awards from the state Recreation and Conservation Funding Board.
Bremerton’s two projects – the redevelopment of Kiwanis Field from a play field into a full service neighborhood park, and the renovation of the waterfront at Lions Park – received top scores in separate grant competitions, earning the city special recognition and $900,000 in funding.
Kaleen Cottingham, director of the Recreation and Conservation Office, which administers the grants, will present the giant check to city council members at their meeting at 5:30 p.m., July 7, in the Norm Dicks Government Center, 345 6th St., Bremerton.
“These grants help ensure Washington remains a great place to live and work,” Cottingham said. “Bremerton has been successful in getting a number of grants because the city values creating places for its citizens to recreate and enjoy the outdoors.”
Bremerton’s Kiwanis Field project scored the highest of 12 projects competing for funding in the Land and Water Conservation Fund grant program, which provides grants to buy land and develop outdoor facilities for the public, including parks, trails and wildlife lands. The funding is administered through the National Park Service.
The City will use a $400,000 grant to diversify the 4-acre Kiwanis Field from a park with a focus on team sports to a place for individual, active recreation. The City will develop walking trails, a meadow for informal games, a playground and a picnic shelter.
The city’s Lions Park renovation project scored second highest of 13 competing for funding in the 2008 grant round for the Land and Water Conservation Fund program. The City will use that $500,000 grant to renovate the shoreline in Lions Park, a 1970s-era, 18-acre park on Puget Sound. The renovations will restore the shoreline habitat; improve water quality for swimmers and boaters; and build a new waterfront trail, open play meadow and an environmental-themed play area.
Bremerton has received $1.54 million of additional grants to help match the Recreation and Conservation Office awards to Lions and Kiwanis Parks.
The competition for grants is high, with projects rated by citizens and professional staff on many factors, such as need, how well the project is designed and cost-efficiencies.
“Only the best of the best projects gets funded,” Cottingham said. “Bremerton has consistently brought forth high scoring projects.”
The Recreation and Conservation Funding Board, through the Land and Water Conservation Fund, has awarded more than $67 million to 550 projects in nearly every county of the state. Grant recipients have contributed more than $65 million in matching resources, bringing the total to more than $132 million invested in recreation, parks and habitat in Washington.
The Recreation and Conservation Funding Board was established in 1964 to finance recreation and conservation projects throughout the state. For more information on the agency or its grant programs, visit the Web site: www.rco.wa.gov.