Thursday, November 28, 2013

Northeast Ohio communities score well with NatureWorks grant funding

Communities and entities in Lake, Geauga and Cuyahoga counties have taken advantage of a state voter-approved grant program designed to enhance recreational activities.

Called “NatureWorks,” the program is weighted application process in which local governments can solicit the state for partial financial aid in constructing trails and amenities.

NatureWorks was first approved by Ohio voters more than a decade ago who then voted again to continue with the program.

In all, 92 grants were awarded by the state with the program administered by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

Besides the NatureWorks’ money additional funding was supplied by the federal government’s Land and Water Conservation Fund grant program.

Recipients are required to apply at least a 25-percent match in order to qualify for the state-administered funding.

In Lake County, $8,070 was awarded to Painesville City for a new picnic shelter and fencing at its Huntington Park. The total cost for this project is $15,400, with Painesville responsible for the remainder of the expense.

Also, Cleveland Metroparks was awarded $30,940 for a $41,440 project for trail improvements at the agency’s North Chagrin Reservation which is partially located in Lake County’s Willoughby Hills.

Geauga County’s Hambden Township was awarded $25,320 for a $33,760 trails project at the community’s Hambden Township Park.

A quartet of Cuyahoga County cities also were the recipients of grant money:  Parma Heights ($56,625), Shaker Heights ($60,000), Bedford Heights ($18,000), and Fairview Park ($55,534).

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn

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