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|  TPWD News Release 20050829b                                            |
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[ Note: This item is more than nine years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: Rob McCorkle, 830-866-3533, robert.mccorkle@tpwd.texas.gov ] [RM]
Aug. 29, 2005
Twenty Texas Communities Get $3.75 Million In Park Grants
AUSTIN, Texas -- The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission approved $3.75 million in grants at its Aug. 25 meeting to provide recreational opportunities and park facilities, and create greenbelts for communities throughout the state.
Montgomery County was awarded the largest grant -- a $1 million Regional Park Grant to develop the Spring Creek Greenway. It was the only grant out of three regional park grant applications received by Jan. 31, 2005, requesting $5 million from the Texas Recreation and Parks Account for park and conservation projects.
The 76th session of the Texas Legislature authorized the creation of a regional park grant program to be funded through the TRPA. The program is designed to support multi-jurisdictional projects of regional significance serving Texas' metropolitan areas. Projects proposing intensive use recreation and/or regional conservation and recreation are eligible to request matching funds. Funds available include $1 million from the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund.
The commission approved four Local Park Grants of $500,000 each for a total of $2 million. Funds for this program come from the Texas Recreation and Parks Account (TRPA) and the Land and Water Conservation Fund. The TRPA was authorized in 1993 to assist local political subdivisions of the state in providing basic public recreation facilities. TRPA revenue is generated from a portion of the state sales tax on sporting goods. Funds available include $1.5 million from Fiscal Year 2006 TRPA revenue and $500,000 in federal Land and Water Conservation Funds. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department received 17 applications by Jan. 31, 2005, requesting $7,307,700 in matching fund assistance.
In the Small Community Grant funding category, the commission approved 15 park projects totaling $750,000. All were funded at the maximum $50,000-per-applicant level. As of Jan. 31, 2005, TPWD received applications from 35 sponsors requesting $1,695,842 in matching funds.
The Small Community Program provides 50 percent matching fund reimbursement grants to eligible local governments with a population of 20,000 or less. In recent years, the demand for these funds has dramatically increased, as has the competition for these limited resources. All applications submitted in this category are evaluated for program eligibility and prioritized with the criteria, rating factors and points according to the "Project Priority Scoring System."
A number of communities that applied for local and regional grants were not successful during this funding cycle in acquiring park grants because of increased competition for a shrinking pool of grant money. One reason is recent budget cuts that resulted in a significant reduction in Texas Parks and Recreation Account program funding that provides grants to various local and regional community park projects. For this reason, TPWD has less grant money available to award for parks and recreation programs. The TRPA appropriations were reduced from $20.44 million in Fiscal Year 2002-03 to $13.02 million for FY 2004-2005 and $5.64 million for FY2006-07.
Below is the complete list of grants awarded Aug. 25, listed in alphabetical order by county. Type of grant received is indicated in parentheses:
--Aransas: Fulton Beach Park (small community) The City of Fulton received $50,000 to further develop 5.1 acre Fulton Beach Park located in the east area of the city. Proposed development includes a 0.3-mile trail, pavilion, 4 covered picnic tables with 2 cook stoves, playground, 2 horseshoe pits, sand volleyball court, game table, hummingbird/butterfly garden, and project signs.
--Bastrop: Smithville Riverbend Park II (small community) The City of Smithville received $50,000 to further develop 46.1-acre Riverbend Park located in the north area of the city. Proposed development includes a 9-hole disc golf course, basketball/4-square court, soccer field, 0.18-mile trail, 4 horseshoe pits, playground and restroom renovations, kitchen, pavilion with 8 tables, interpretive signs, and fencing.
--Bell: Rogers City Park (local grant) received a $500,000 matching grant to acquire by donation 25 acres and to dedicate 59.28 acres of city-owned non-parkland to develop Rogers City Park located in the south area of the city. Proposed development includes a 18-acre open space dedication, basketball/volleyball court, football/soccer field, playground, horseshoes/washers pit, 1.0-mile trail, lighted tennis court, lighted fishing pier, 2 pavilions, 4 picnic tables with 1 grill, baseball field, bird watching blind, jump rope area, artist wall, historical garden, landscaping, utilities, roads, parking, and project signs.
--Clay: Henrietta City Park II (small community) The City of Henrietta received $50,000 to further develop 3.4-acre City Park located in the northeast area of the city. Proposed development includes 0.5-mile multi-use trail with 2 exercise stations and 2 embedded hopscotch courts, 2 horseshoe pits, 2 game tables, hummingbird/butterfly garden, water spray feature added to pool, renovations of the swimming pool and volleyball court, and program acknowledgement signs.
--Collin: Farmersville Parkway Park (small community) The City of Farmersville received $50,000 to develop 1.8 acres of city-owned land as Parkway Park located in the west-central area of the city. Proposed development includes water splash pad, pavilion, playground, 2 picnic tables, group BBQ grill, tree planting, and program acknowledgement signs.
--Falls: Falls on the Brazos Park II (small community) Falls County received $50,000 to further develop 22.5-acre Falls on the Brazos Park located in the central area of the county. Proposed development includes a playground, 20 primitive campsites, 1.1-mile nature trail with bridge, observation platform, ceremonial circle, fishing area, 10 benches, interpretive signs, landscaping, and project signs.
--Fort Bend: Meadows Place Community Park III (small community) The City Meadows Place received $50,000 to further develop 14.8-acre Community Park located in the west area of the city. Proposed development includes a playground, playground renovations, outdoor classroom, butterfly garden, exercise area renovation, hummingbird garden, bird watching station, 2 benches, and a 0.3-mile trail.
--Fort Bend: Richmond Clay Park (small community) The City of Richmond received $50,000 to develop 2.4-acre Clay Park located in the east area of the city. Proposed development includes a playground, pavilion, 4 picnic tables with grills, 0.1-mile trail, basketball court, 2 washer courts, and project signs.
--Harris County and Montgomery: Spring Creek Greenway/Phase I (regional) received $1 million to acquire 630 acres by purchase/donation/bargain sale to develop Spring Creek Greenway located in the southeast area of Montgomery County and north area of Harris County. Proposed development includes a 7.0-mile hike/bike trail with bridge, nature trail, 7.0-mile equestrian trail, playground, pavilion, 10 picnic tables, boardwalk, canoe launch, canoe trail, lake aerator, interpretive signs, restroom, parking, drinking fountains, fencing, three bicycle racks, landscaping, and project signs.
--Hunt: Celeste City Park (small community) The City of Celeste received $50,000 to acquire by donation and develop 1.57 acres as City Park located in the southwest area of the city. Proposed development includes 0.1-mile trail with 2 hopscotch courts, pavilion with court games, basketball court, playground, 2 picnic tables, game tables, hummingbird/butterfly garden, and program acknowledgement signs.
--Jackson: The Lavaca-Navidad River Authority Brackenridge Park (local park) received $500,000 to acquire 187.22 acres by purchase to further expand and develop 250-acre Brackenridge Plantation Park and Campground located in the central area of Jackson County. Proposed development includes a 10-acre open space dedication, 68,250 square- foot, open-air event center, pond with fishing pier, 3 bird observation stations, pavilion, 14 picnic tables with 8 grills, 2 playgrounds, volleyball court, 32 RV sites, outdoor sports court renovation, paintball course, 2 soccer fields, disc golf course, crosswalk, cultural resources exhibit, landscaping, utilities, road, and parking.
--Johnson: Venus Fielder Park (small community) The City of Venus received $50,000 to further develop 5.12-acre Fielder Park located in the east-central area of the city. Proposed development includes a 0.40-mile trail, 5 exercise stations, basketball court, sand volleyball court, 2 playgrounds, 2 game tables, 9 picnic tables, 5 grills, xeriscape garden, environmental interpretive signs, native tree planting, and light timers.
--Johnson: Alvarado Parkway Park (small community) The City of Alvarado received $50,000 to further develop 2.57-acre Parkway Park located in the west-central area of the city. Proposed development includes 0.23-mile trail, playground, pavilion, picnic station, open play area, washer courts, and program acknowledgement signs.
--Liberty: Dayton Henderson Day Park (small community) The City of Dayton received $50,000 to further develop 9.0-acre Henderson Day Park located in the southeast area of the city. Proposed development includes a basketball court, sand volleyball court, 2 game tables, 6 benches, 5 picnic tables with grills, playground, 5 exercise stations, 4 soccer fields, 0.3-mile trail, interpretive signs, landscaping, and lighting.
--Liberty: Cleveland Wiley Park (small community) The City of Cleveland received $50.000 to further develop 2.96-acre Wiley Park located in the northeast area of the city. Proposed development includes a sand volleyball court; renovation of a basketball court, pavilion, 0.2-mile trail, and playground; 2 game tables; 3 soccer fields; 5 picnic tables with grills; 4 benches; 4 exercise stations; landscaping; and lighting.
--Potter/Randall: Amarillo Greenways Park (local park) received $500,000 in matching funds to acquire by donation 53 acres to develop Greenways Park located in the southwest area of the city. Proposed development includes a 2.6-acre wetland dedication, 0.72-mile walking/jogging trail, 0.51-mile nature trail, playground, pavilion with 6 picnic tables, 8 picnic stations, multi-use court, softball/baseball field, soccer/multi-use field, 5.0-acre lake creation, wetland development and interpretation, interpretive area shelter, 10.5-acre native habitat restoration, cultural interpretive signs, 16 benches, tree planting, and program acknowledgement signs.
--Robertson: Calvert Payne-Kemp Park (small community) The City of Calvert received $50,000 to expand by 2.0 acres and further develop 2.0-acre Paine-Kemp Park located in the southeast area of the city. Proposed development includes a pavilion, playground, softball field, renovation of an existing field to a multi-purpose field, group grill, landscaping, and project signs.
--Smith: Bullard O. L. Ferrell Park III (small community) The City of Bullard received $50,000 to further develop 9.6-acre O.L. Ferrell Park located in the central area of the city. Proposed development includes a 0.24-mile trail, playground, picnic station, tennis court renovation, 2 washer courts, and program signs.
--Williamson: Leander Benbrook Ranch Park (local park) received $500,000 in matching funds for the City of Leander to acquire 40 acres by donation to develop Benbrook Ranch Park located in the north area of the city. Proposed development includes a 0.3-acre wetland dedication, 15.0-acre open space dedication, 0.94-mile multi-purpose trail, softball/baseball field, 4 soccer fields, playground, natural area, 0.4-mile nature trail, wetland garden, 4 picnic tables, skate park, disc golf course, BMX track, pavilion, open play field, xeriscape garden, interpretive signs, and irrigation.
--Wise: Bridgeport Harwood Park (small community) The City of Bridgeport received $50,000 to further develop 8.3-acre Harwood Park located in the central area of the city. Proposed development includes a pavilion renovation, playground surface renovation, playground, 5 picnic/game tables with 3 grills, play pad, 3 horseshoe pits, xeriscape garden, 3 interpretive signs/message boards, lighting, and irrigation.
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