ODNR approves funding for more than 100 outdoor recreation projects

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COLUMBUS — State and federal grants awarded by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Office of Real Estate will fund 105 community-based projects.

Funding from the NatureWorks and Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) grants will be used to establish and renovate parks and improve public access to outdoor recreation facilities.

ODNR administers the NatureWorks and LWCF grant programs. This year these programs will support the acquisition of more than 98 acres of green space as well as the development and improvement of 23 playgrounds, five splash parks and dozens of other local improvement projects.

Funding from these grants will also make Ohio’s park infrastructure more accessible.

These projects will impact communities for generations and will enhance the quality of life for many Ohioans in the coming years.

ODNR has recommended that nearly $2 million in NatureWorks grants and more than half a million dollars in LWCF grants be awarded.

The projects

To view the projects receiving funding, go to: http://ohiodnr.com/tabid/10762/Default.aspx/.

NatureWorks provides up to 75 percent reimbursement assistance to local government subdivisions, such as townships, villages, cities, counties, park districts, joint recreation districts and conservancy districts for the acquisition, development and rehabilitation of recreational areas.

The projects are funded through the Ohio Parks and Natural Resources Bond Issue, which was approved by Ohio voters in November 1993.

Additional legislation authorized the creation of the NatureWorks Grant Program. Similarly, 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 $150 million to projects in Ohio since its inception in 1965.

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