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Governor awards $1.5 million to improve recreational facilities

Brandon Moseley

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Gov. Kay Ivey has awarded grants of $1.5 million to improve recreational facilities in 10 Alabama communities.

The awards were made through the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund and range from building soccer fields to upgrading campsites.

“Improving Alabama’s parks, trails and ball fields makes our communities better places to live and promotes healthier and happier people,” Governor Ivey said. “I commend those local officials who recognize the importance of recreation to their residents and realize that our parks and playgrounds convey a lot about the character of their communities.”

The LWCF program was created by Congress in 1965 to assist states with the development and preservation of outdoor recreational facilities. The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) manages the program in Alabama.

“Seeing well-maintained and well-used parks, playgrounds and trails says so much about a community and the vitality of its people,” ADECA Director Kenneth Boswell said. “ADECA is pleased to be a partner with Governor Ivey, the National Park Service and these local communities in making these projects a reality.”

Under the LWCF program, recipients are required to match the amount of the award with cash or in-kind commitments.

The grants and projects (listed geographically from north to south) awarded are:

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  • Red Bay received a $208,538 grant award to construct a splash pad and lighted basketball court at Red Bay Fun Park.
  • Crossville was awarded $72,299 to construct two soccer fields at Crossville Municipal Park, including bleachers, fencing, portable soccer goals and signage.
  • The Public Parks and Recreation Board of Cherokee County will receive $99,843 to update campsites at Cherokee Rock Village including installing water lines, underground electrical lines, signage, drainage and other improvements.
  • Double Springs is receiving $142,887 to reconstruct a paved walking trail and install lighting and security cameras and replace electrical wiring at Mike Gilbreath Park.
  • Vernon has been awarded $229,425 to build a swimming pool at Vernon City Park that is accessible to people with disabilities.
  • Coosada will get $42,000 to make improvements at Coosada Town Park including constructing new sidewalks and bathrooms and renovating a pavilion.
  • Bullock County will get $149,500 to make improvements at Harris Park including reconstructing baseball/softball infield and dugouts, renovating the concession stand and bathrooms, improving fencing and resurfacing a basketball court.
  • Cowarts is being awarded $73,025 to construct new restrooms adjacent to the Cowarts walking trail.
  • Elba is receiving $159,850 to construct a new playground, renovate restrooms, concession stand/press box and softball fields, install benches and replace water fountains at Hawkins-Williams Park.
  • Elberta will receive $372,300 to construct new fields, walking trails, parking area and improve drainage at Elberta Sportsplex.

The LWCF is a program of the National Park Service. Eligible applicants may include municipalities, county governments, state agencies and state authorities created by the Legislature.

The program can fund projects involving playfields, trails, parks, playgrounds, picnic and camping areas, including related amenities and land acquisition which will be dedicated for recreation use.

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