COLUMBUS, OH – The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) has recommended projects from 14 Ohio communities for grant funding, which will exceed $2.5 million. The community-based projects that were selected will help preserve green space and improve outdoor recreational activities for families across Ohio. These funds are pending final approval by the National Park Service and are provided through a federal matching grant from the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).
“It is exciting to see the continued emphasis from Ohio’s communities toward providing more outdoor opportunities that everyone can enjoy,” ODNR Director James Zehringer said. “These projects will benefit Ohio families by creating more chances for them to participate in outdoor activities close to home.”
ODNR administers the federal LWCF grant program for Ohio. This round, the LWCF program will support the acquisition of more than 236 acres of green space, as well as the development and improvement of trails, shelter houses, tennis courts, splash pads and other park infrastructure projects. Funding from these grants will also make Ohio’s park infrastructure more accessible. Ohio offers LWCF grant assistance to local communities on a biennial basis.
The LWCF provides up to 50 percent reimbursement assistance for state and local government subdivisions, such as villages and cities, for the acquisition, development and rehabilitation of outdoor recreational areas. The federal grant program is supported by offshore oil lease revenues and other non-tax sources. Many local parks, trails, pools and other outdoor recreation facilities that Ohioans enjoy today were made possible through the federal program, which has awarded more than $152 million to projects in Ohio since its inception in 1965. To learn more about the LWCF, go to: realestate.ohiodnr.gov/outdoor-recreation-facility-grants.
NatureWorks is a similar grant program for outdoor recreation facilities in parks, which is funded through the Ohio Parks and Natural Resources Bond Issue. NatureWorks applications will be accepted until Monday, May 1. Awarded projects will be announced this autumn.