OLYMPIA – The Washington State Recreation and Conservation Funding Board today announced the award of 21 grants to improve parks, trails and ball fields.
The grants, which total nearly $1.6 million, will give cities, counties and others needed cash to improve their recreational facilities. The grants will help pay for ball fields in Richland, maintenance and grooming of trails throughout the Cascade and Olympic mountain ranges, playgrounds in Port Angeles and Mossyrock and expansion of a public forest near Bothell, to name a few.
“These grants range from providing routine maintenance for recreational trails all the way up to the development of new community parks,” said Kaleen Cottingham, director of the Recreation and Conservation Office, which administers the grants. “They help local economies by creating jobs and attracting visitors who spend money in local stores. They also help communities create great new outdoor places for their residents to get some exercise, relax and play.”
Grants were awarded to organizations in the following counties:
Funding for the grants comes from three sources:
- The Recreational Trails Program, which provides funding to maintain backcountry trails. The funding comes from federal gas taxes.
- The Land and Water Conservation Fund, which is used to build parks, trails and other outdoor facilities. The money comes from federal revenue from the selling and leasing off-shore oil and gas resources.
- The Youth Athletic Facilities fund, which is used to build and maintain sports fields. Funding comes from the sale of state general obligation bonds.
“Competition for these grants is very intense,” Cottingham said. “We require grant applicants to show us why the projects are needed, that they are cost-effective and that the community supports them. The competition means that only the top projects in the state are funded.”