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TPW approves More Than $4.5 million in Local Park Grants
AUSTIN — The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission approved more than $4.5 million in competitive grants for city and county parks, sport complexes, nature trails and recreation centers across the state. Nine out of 40 eligible grant requests for indoor and outdoor recreational facilities were chosen by the commission for funding.
The City of Murphy, in Collin County, received both an outdoor and indoor recreation grant totaling $1.25 million. Murphy will receive $750,000 to renovate an existing 10,000 square foot building into a recreation center, located in the central area of the city. It will be the city’s first recreation center. Plans include a gymnasium with track, stage, game room, children’s play room/classroom, dance/exercise room, arts and crafts room, club room/work room, office, restrooms, kitchen, xeriscape demonstration garden with drip irrigation and landscaping.
In addition, the City of Murphy will receive a $500,000 outdoor recreation grant to develop Community Park and expand the Maxwell Creek Greenbelt. The state monies will be used to develop an amphitheater, playground, lacrosse fields, trails with pedestrian bridge, sprayground with shade structure, environmental interpretive signs, picnic tables, pavilion, landscaping and program signs. The total cost of the project is estimated at $1.5 million.
Another $500,000 indoor recreation grant went to the City of Uvalde to further develop the 56-acre Kiwanis Park Sports complex, located in the eastern area of the city. The city will use the monies to acquire about 12 acres of city-owned non-parkland for a camping area, play area, amphitheater, picnic units, 2.42 acres of natural area, trail and trailhead, benches, football and soccer fields, native tree plantings, interpretive signs and irrigation.
The $1.5 million in Indoor Recreation Grants approved by the TPW Commission for the two projects come from the Texas Recreation and Parks Account program, which was created by the Texas Legislature in 1993 and is funded by a portion of the state sales tax on sporting goods.
In addition to the $500,000 City of Murphy outdoor grant, the commission also okayed more than $2.5 million in Outdoor Recreation Grants to help fund six other projects out of the 32 eligible projects for which funding was sought. Funding for these 50-50 matching grants is made possible through the TRPA and the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund.
La Feria in the lower Rio Grande Valley received $750,000 to develop a recreation center on 5.91 acres of city owned non-parkland in the central area of the city. The 17,326 square foot center will include a track, gymnasium with basketball/volleyball courts, recreation/games room, multi-purpose room used for arts and drama, computer room, auditorium, storage room, locker rooms, office, restrooms and parking.
Sealy in Austin County was awarded a grant request of $500,000 for the first phase of the Jacqueline A. Cryan Memorial Town Park, located in the southwest area of the city. The new city park will include a swimming pool, multi-use trail, skate area, picnic tables with grills, native grass and tree plantings as well as interpretive signs.
Forest Hill in south Tarrant County was awarded $491,000 in matching state funds to further develop the 21-acre Griggs Park, located in the central area of the city. The City of Forest Hill will acquire three acres by purchase-donation for an asphalt trail, playscape, soccer field with bleachers and running track, basketball court, picnic pavilion with tables, sand volleyball pits, bridge over creek, wetland garden, xeriscape garden with drip irrigation, amphitheater, tree plantings, shade gazebos with picnic tables, picnic tables, benches and interpretive signs.
Also in the Dallas-Forth Worth area, Haltom City was awarded a $500,000 grant for the development of Whites Branch Park, located in the north east area of the city. Haltom City will acquire 21.54 acres for trails with water crossings, playground, sprayground, picnic settings and bench stations, open lawn area, native tree plantings, dog pick-up stations and washer court. Seventeen acres will be preserved as a natural area.
In Williamson County, the City of Florence will use grant monies to develop Community Park in the central area of the city. Matching state funds in the amount of $191,215 will be spent on a 5.5- acre open space dedication, trail, aquatic/bird watching platform, picnic tables and grills, playground, pavilion, gazebo, open play field, splash pad, exercise stations, community gardens and horseshoe pits.
In West Texas, the City of Alpine in Brewster County received $402,472 to make improvements to Kokernot and Medina Parks and extend the Kokernot Hike and Bike Trail. Kokernot Park is located near Sul Ross University and Medina Park is located in the south area of the city.
Development at Kokernot Park includes the replacement of benches and picnic tables, rehabilitation of the trail, restrooms, volleyball court, playscape, solar heating of the pool, activity center in the kiddie pool, barbeque facility, playground, game tables, play field, lighting, landscaping and irrigation. At Medina Park, the City of Alpine plans to replace the play equipment, sandbox and bike rack, as well as have benches with shade structures, a water fountain, parking and native plant landscaping. Trail improvements will include three trails with solar lighting, overlook and stargazing platform and native landscaping. The city also wants to restore Kokernot Springs.
For more information about the grant awards or to receive applications forms, see TPWD’s grants Web page or phone the department’s Recreation Grants Department at (512) 912-7124 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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