A little more than $1.7 million will go to four coastal local governments for parks facilities for children and veterans living with disabilities.
Gov. Roy Cooper’s office announced Friday that the Parks and Recreation Authority granted $9.6 million for 21 total projects statewide during a March 3 meeting.
The 2021 state budget included $10 million for the Parks and Recreation Trust Fund to provide matching grants to local governments. Grants of $500,000 were awarded to 12 towns and counties, and grants ranging from $171,313 to $470,000 were awarded to 11 local government projects.
Bertie County was awarded $500,000 for an outdoor education and event space project, called a Tall Glass of Water, or TGOW, will offer open access to the water, hiking and camping. Accessible components include an ADA-accessible ramp, beach mats for improved navigation onto the beach and an accessible walkway from the parking area to the beach.
Also on the coast, Arapahoe was awarded $274,960 for Arapahoe Community Park, Jacksonville was awarded $500,000 for an inclusive and accessible baseball field at the Commons Recreation Complex called Inspiration Field, town documents state, and Wilmington was awarded $470, 044 for Maides Park inclusive playground, at 1101 Manly Ave.
“These projects touch communities from Watauga to Wake to Pamlico with lasting, accessible infrastructure for recreation that will bring improved health and quality of life for North Carolina families,” Cooper said in a statement. “The focus of accessibility reflects our need for — and commitment to — investing in projects that reflect the needs and abilities of all of our residents and visitors.”
Department of Natural and Cultural Resources Secretary D. Reid Wilson said because the governor and General Assembly included historic funding levels in the budget for the Parks and Recreation Trust Fund, “we are able to provide these grants to every corner of our state to improve accessibility in community recreation. These grants will produce significant progress toward providing recreation that meets each North Carolinian where they are.”
The Parks and Recreation Trust Fund is administered through the state Division of Parks and Recreation, which is part of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. Local governments, including some public authorities, were eligible to apply for the matching grants.