Over $3.6 million in Outdoor Recreation Grants have been awarded to projects within 25 counties across the state, the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism announced this week. The grants are divided into two categories: Matching Grants and Facilities for Underdeveloped Neighborhoods (FUN) Park Grants.
“The Outdoor Recreation Grants Program has provided $47.2 million in matching grants since 1988 and nearly $11 million in FUN Park Grants since 1991,” said Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism Secretary Stacy Hurst. “There’s no question that these grants to Arkansas cities and counties have been impactful and led to increased access to outdoor recreation and improved quality of life for our state’s residents. These monies help create opportunities for the public to get outside and enjoy a healthy lifestyle.”
The ORGP is housed within Arkansas State Parks, a division of the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism, and is tasked with the promotion and facilitation of public outdoor recreation in Arkansas. To help accomplish these goals, the ORGP offers technical and funding assistance for land acquisition and development of public outdoor recreation facilities to local governments throughout the state.
Project Officers advise the Committee as to eligibility, feasibility and project history. Each year, nearly 200 site visits are conducted to assist local communities.
“Few things can unite a community like a local park,” said Outdoor Recreation Grants Program Director Matt McNair. “Whether tournament-caliber ballfields on the edge of town, playgrounds and basketball courts tucked away in unique neighborhoods, or tiny downtown pocket parks providing a little rest and shade to workers and errand-runners, local parks allow folks to reacquaint themselves with their neighbors and the things they love about their hometown. Everyone in our program feels proud and privileged to be a small part of that.”
2022 Matching Grant recipients include:
- Bald Knob (White County) to develop two picnic shelters with tables, install a new play structure with impact surfacing and improve accessibility at Collision Park and install field lighting at Bald Knob Sports Complex, $130,000.00.
- Batesville (Independence County) to install a pedestrian bridge and improve access at Riverside Park, and install a new play structure at Kennedy Park, $146,004.00.
- Brookland (Craighead County) to develop two new parks (Smith Street and East Ridge Parks) with pavilions, park amenities, play areas, walking trails, basketball facilities, and access, $225,000.00.
- Cave City (Sharp County) to construct a new playground with accessibility and fencing at Cave City Park, $75,834.13.
- Clarksville (Johnson County) to develop an all-inclusive playground and improve accessibility at Cline Park, $225,000.00.
- Dumas (Desha County) to develop restroom facility, replace play equipment, widen and resurface existing walking trail, and improve access at Memorial Park, $175,000.00.
- Hope (Hempstead County) to develop a new pocket park with shade structure, performance stage, benches, landscaping, accessibility and lighting, $31,480.00.
- Hot Springs (Garland County) to construct a pump track at Velocity Park, $131,500.00.
- Johnson (Washington County) to replace play equipment, resurface existing basketball court, and develop new restrooms, a pavilion, volleyball facility, park amenities, accessibility and fencing at Johnson City Park, $225,000.00.
- Lowell (Benton County) to develop an all-inclusive playground with shade structure, accessibility and fencing at KJ Memorial Park, $225,000.00.
- Mountain Home (Baxter County) to develop an all-inclusive play area, amphitheater seating, restrooms, horseshoe pits and accessibility improvements at Hickory Park, $225,000.00.
- Mountain View (Stone County) to repair and refurbish existing city pool and improve playground safety and access at Stone County Recreational Complex, $90,000.00.
- Mulberry (Crawford County) to develop pickleball courts and improve access at Mulberry City Park, $65,000.00.
- Prairie Grove (Washington County) to develop restrooms, install new play equipment and improve access at Muddy Fork Park, $119,699.32.
- Rose Bud (White County) to construct restroom facility, stage area, and improve access at Rose Bud City Park, $48,000.00.
- Russellville (Pope County) to develop all-inclusive playground and improve access at Russellville City Park, $180,000.00.
- Scranton (Logan County) to develop basketball facility, playground, park amenities, and access improvements at Scranton City Park, $50,000.00.
- Searcy (White County) to develop access, fencing and improve site condition at Riverside Park; improve access at Searcy Sports Complex; and replace old play equipment and impact surfacing at Yancey Park, $55,000.00.
- Stuttgart (Arkansas County) to develop a new pocket park with pavilion, movie screen wall, bike racks and bike station, concession facility, seating areas, native landscaping, Wi-Fi hotspot and park amenities, $195,000.00.
- Valley Springs (Boone County) to construct a pavilion, improve accessibility, and install lighting, impact surfacing and park amenities at Valley Springs City Park, $91,385.43.
2022 FUN Park Grant recipients include:
- Allport (Lonoke County) to develop a play area, pavilion and accessibility improvements at Allport Community Center Park, $74,986.00.
- Daisy (Pike County) to develop a new park with play area, pavilion, basketball facility, and accessible parking/pathways, $74,999.50.
- Goshen (Washington County) to develop a new park with play area and accessible pathways at the Goshen Community Center, $75,000.00.
- Hot Spring County to install new play equipment, gazebo slab, benches, fencing, security features, grills and accessible pathways at Lono Community Park, $74,983.00.
- Keo (Lonoke County) to install new play equipment, basketball goals, picnic tables, benches, and improve accessibility in Keo City Park, $75,000.00.
- Letona (White County) to install new play equipment and improve access at Letona City Park, $75,000.00.
- Mansfield (Scott County) to construct a pavilion and improve access at Mansfield City Park, $30,632.00.
- Moorefield (Independence County) to develop a walking trail, picnic sites, benches, fencing and access improvements at Moorefield Town Park, $75,000.00.
- Oppelo (Conway County) to install new play equipment and improve access at Oppelo City Park, $60,845.42.
- Peach Orchard (Clay County) to construct pavilion, install picnic tables and replace existing outdated playground equipment at Peach Orchard Park, $75,000.00.
- Salem (Fulton County) to repair, refurbish and re-stripe (for tennis and pickleball) existing tennis courts at Salem City Park, $75,000.00.
- Sidney (Sharp County) to replace play equipment, improve access and install benches, grills and impact surfacing at Sidney Park, $75,000.00.
- Swifton (Jackson County) to install new play equipment, benches and access improvements at Swifton City Park, $75,000.00.
- Tuckerman (Jackson County) to replace outdated playground equipment and associated fall-zone material, and to provide barrier-free parking and access to playground, restroom and pavilion at Tuckerman City Park, $75,000.00.
- Washington County to install new play equipment, landscaping and benches, and improve accessibility in Brentwood Community Park, $44,752.00.
Funding for Matching and FUN Park grants is provided by a portion of the Real Estate Transfer Tax administered by the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration.