Parks locally and in 25 counties across the state will get repairs and upgrades thanks to one-time funding for backlogged parks maintenance projects and equipment.
The Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO) announced the award of $4.7 million for 53 projects through its Local Parks Maintenance grant program.
The Legislature created the grant program this past year to address maintenance backlogs in the local parks.
“We are seeing an overwhelming demand for this type of funding,” said Megan Duffy, RCO director. “During the pandemic and continuing today, more people are visiting parks, which can strain staff and facilities, especially in smaller communities. These grants will begin to make a difference in those places.
Grays Harbor County
Aberdeen Grant Awarded: $100,000 Replacing Park Structures and Buying Equipment The City of Aberdeen will use this grant to replace aging park structures in several parks. The city will replace the softball scoreboard, baseball outfield netting, and the yellow caps, bases, and trash cans in Pioneer Park. The City also will replace the playground chips at all playgrounds and the backstop padding at the softball fields in the Bishop Athletic Complex. Finally, the City will buy two blowers for trail maintenance, a professional paint sprayer for painting buildings and striping parking lots, and a utility trailer for hauling maintenance equipment. Visit RCO’s online Project Snapshot for more information and photographs of this project. (23-1634)
Cosmopolis Grant Awarded: $100,000 Upgrading Mill Creek Park Facilities The City of Cosmopolis will use this grant to upgrade the facilities in Mill Creek Park. The City will resurface and stripe the tennis courts, repair the fencing around the courts, and replace the rusted basketball backboard and hoop at the courts. The City also will repair the concrete steps and wooden handrail that go from the courts down to a trail to Mill Creek pond and the dam and fish ladder. The City will replace the roof on the upper restroom near the tennis courts and the worn-out porcelain toilets and urinals in the lower restroom. In addition, the City will replace the roof on the gazebo and repair or replace tables and benches there. Finally, the City will remove the overgrown brush, weeds, and trees from the trails around the pond and lay gravel as well as install directional signs. Visit RCO’s online Project Snapshot for more information and photographs of this project. (23-1574)
Elma Grant Awarded: $100,000 Fixing Lights in Gladys Smith Lloyd Murray Park The City of Elma will use this grant to fix the athletic field lighting in Gladys Smith Lloyd Murray Park. Use of the fields has been reduced because of the lack of lights. A large portion of the Elma community comes together to participate in or gather at organized sporting events at these fields. Visit RCO’s online Project Snapshot for more information and photographs of this project. (23-1602)
Hoquiam Grant Awarded: $100,000 Maintaining Hoquiam Playgrounds The City of Hoquiam will use this grant to repair deficient playground equipment and amenities to ensure parks are safe and accessible for people with disabilities in low-income, disadvantaged communities. The City will add mulch to the playground and replace slide and swing mats at John Gable Park, Pocklington Central Playfield, Richie Park, and Viglasky Park. At John Gable Park, the City also will replace the thirty-year-old roof on the picnic shelter, the twenty-year old dugouts, the safety netting, and two sets of bleachers. The City also will replace the automatic locks on restrooms and lay rock on trails at Elton Bennett Park, Endreson walking trails, John Gable Park, Pocklington Central Playfield, and Sunset Memorial Park. The City will replace picnic tabletops and benches, safety netting around play toys, and worn basketball hoops throughout the parks. Finally, the City will replace its 1995 four-wheeler and cargo trailer and other equipment used for playfield maintenance. Visit RCO’s online Project Snapshot for more information and photographs of this project. (23-1534)
Long Beach Grant Awarded: $67,000 Repairing Long Beach Restrooms The City of Long Beach will use this grant to repair restrooms on Fifth Street in the middle of the city’s downtown. Built in 1999, the restrooms are in desperate need of a new roof, gutters, and siding. These restrooms are open year-round and used by many visitors and residents alike. Visit RCO’s online Project Snapshot for more information and photographs of this project. (23-1571) South Bend Grant Awarded: $100,000 Maintaining the Cheney Ballfield Sport Court The City of South Bend will use this grant to install a thick layer of asphalt over an unusable sport court at Cheney Ballfield. The overlay will cover the cracked asphalt and build up low areas that puddle in the rain. The City also will paint lines on the original two tennis courts, replace the fence surrounding the court, and replace the two original entrance gates. Visit RCO’s online Project Snapshot for more information and photographs of this project. (23-1687)
“Many of the grants went to communities that struggle to find the resources to maintain parks,” Duffy said. “We received 214 applications requesting nearly $19 million and we were able to fund just under a quarter of the projects. That will make a big difference in those communities.”
More information about the grant program is available on RCO’s website.