By 1812Blockhouse, Governor’s Office
On Monday, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Director Mary Mertz awarded $1.7 million in grants to support dozens of new outdoor recreation projects in local communities across the state.
Those projects included one in Richland County, as well as projects in Crawford, Huron, and Knox Counties as well.
“We are excited to help communities all over Ohio create fun, safe, and inclusive outdoor recreation opportunities,” said Governor DeWine. “These grants help local parks improve and upgrade their outdoor spaces for citizens of Ohio.”
The grants, awarded as part of the NatureWorks program, will support 68 outdoor recreation projects in 62 counties. Projects include the development of playgrounds, natural playscapes, trails, restrooms, dog parks, baseball fields, basketball courts, tennis and pickleball courts, splash pads, and picnic shelters.
“These grants give us an opportunity to partner with local communities and invest in outdoor recreation across the Buckeye State,” said Director Mertz. “We are always looking for ways to get families and friends to get out and enjoy the beautiful spaces that can be found right in their own neighborhoods.”
NatureWorks grants provide up to 75% reimbursement assistance to local government subdivisions for the acquisition, development, and rehabilitation of recreational areas. Projects are funded through the Ohio Parks and Natural Resources Bond Issue, which was approved by Ohioans in November 1993. Additional legislation authorized the creation of the NatureWorks Grant Program.
In Richland County, the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District was awarded $19,393 for Pleasant Hill Lake Park solar electronic device charging stations, swing canopies, and an activity center project. This will Install 3 solar powered electronic device charging stations that are functioning swings at the Park.
In Crawford County, the City of Galion was awarded $11,018 for improvements at South Park. The project will install 11 standard picnic tables and 2 ADA picnic tables in a shelter. In Huron County, the City of Willard received $12,688 to onstruct a dog park with two, separate fenced areas. Lastly, the Freericktown Recreation District in Knox County received $41,000 to resurface basketball courts and convert one into 4 pickleball courts in Merrin Park.