The communities of Goodlettsville, Spring Hill have received parks and recreation grants in excess of $300,000 each from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation.
The City of LaVergne received a $161,501 parks and recreation grant for a new neighborhood park.
The city of Goodlettsville received $350,000, and will use the money for a playground at Peay Park.
The city of Spring Hill received $321,114. The money will be used for improvements at two parks.
The grants are part of $7,584,530 awarded to communities throughout the state from the Local Parks and Recreation Fund program and the Land and Water Conservation Fund program. The state is also awarding $1,892,642 in grants from the Recreation Trails Program.
“We are happy to announce grants that will enhance the outdoor experience in communities across our state,” Jim Bryson, deputy commissioner of TDEC, said. “We want Tennesseans to enjoy recreational activity, and we recognize local leaders need funding to make it happen. These grants meet that need.”
Goodlettsville will develop the Rachel’s Garden inclusive playground at Peay Park. The playground area will be 9,231 sq. ft. and will be enclosed within a fenced area of approximately 420-linear feet. It includes the playground and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)-compliant parking and access.
“Safe, well-equipped playgrounds where kids can exercise make a huge quality-of-life difference, Senate Speaker Pro Tempore Ferrell Haile, R-Gallatin, said. “Kids of all abilities should be able to enjoy a playground. I am very pleased these improvements have been funded and appreciate the hard work done by our local officials in submitting a successful grant application. I look forward to seeing the improvements which will be made as a result of this grant.”
Spring Hill will enhance the Walnut Street Skate Park by adding four pickle ball courts and restroom facilities, and improve Fischer Park at Port Royal by adding a small Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA)-compliant mobility track with cornhole, lighting, irrigation, and field restoration.
“Parks are a very important part of our communities and I am very pleased these funds are available for this project,” Sen. Joey Hensley, R-Hohenwald, said. “They serve as a wonderful outdoor space for our residents, improving the quality of life for our citizens and promoting outdoor activity. I congratulate our local officials who were instrumental in helping secure these funds.”
LaVergne will implement a neighborhood park in the Brookside neighborhood. The proposed location is on the east end of Peak Top Trail and will connect to the end of the Brookside Greenway. The park design includes a playground, shelter, soccer practice field, and additional parking.
“A new neighborhood park will be an excellent addition to LaVergne as it continues to grow,” Sen. Dawn White, R-Murfreesboro, said. “Parks are incredibly important to communities. They encourage outdoor activities which promote healthier lifestyles. I am glad this park will increase citizens’ accessibility to greenspace, playgrounds, greenways and more. I look forward to its completion and appreciate the work of local officials who worked hard to secure this grant.”
The additional amenities added to the parks with the help of the grants will enhance the quality of life in the respective communities, said Rep. Scott Cepicky, R-Culleoka.
“(The amenities) will also give residents with disabilities greater access to our parks,” he said. “I thank our city leaders for their partnership and for submitting a successful application for these very worthy projects. It was an honor to support their efforts, and I appreciate TDEC’s investment in Spring Hill.”
The LPRF program provides state funding for the purchase of land for parks, natural areas, greenways, and recreational facilities. LPRF funds also may be used for trail development and capital projects in parks, natural areas, and greenways. The LWCF program provides grants to states to administer to state and local governments for the acquisition and development of public outdoor recreation areas and facilities. The grants require a 50% match.
The RTP is a federally funded, state administered grant program, providing funds for land acquisition for trails, trail maintenance, trail construction, trail rehabilitation, and trail head support facilities. These grants are distributed in the form of an 80% grant with a 20%.