The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission Thursday approved nearly $16 million in competitive local park grants to help fund projects that will create and enhance outdoor recreational opportunities like nature trails, urban gardens, playgrounds with full accessibility, dog parks, splash pads and sports fields at 37 community parks across the state.
As part of the awards, El Paso landed an urban outdoor grant of $1 million for the Northeast Regional Park project. The proposed development for this project includes lighted ballfields, a dog park, trails, benches, fitness stations, landscaping, signs and a parking lot expansion.
Del Rio was the recipient of a $500,000 non-urban outdoor grant for its community sports park project. The grant will be used to acquire 30 additional acres to expand upon its existing 11 acre sports park. Other proposed development includes renovation of existing softball and baseball fields, multi-purpose field, a playground, picnic tables, trails, fitness stations and landscaping.
The grants allocate to local government entities appropriated state and federal funding dedicated for the acquisition and/or development of public recreation areas and facilities in Texas on a 50/50 reimbursement match basis. Once funded, all grant assisted sites must be dedicated as parkland in perpetuity, properly maintained and open to the public.
The commission, which administers the local parks grant program for the State of Texas, awarded projects in various categories based on community population size and scope. Urban Outdoor Recreation Grants are reserved for cities having populations exceeding 500,000, with projects in five communities receiving grants.
The Non-Urban Outdoor Recreation Grants are dedicated to funding park projects in municipalities under 500,000 and the commission approved awards to projects in 13 communities. The Small Community Recreation Grants are for park projects in towns of less than 20,000 and were awarded to 13 communities.
Urban Indoor Grants are given to communities with populations exceeding 500,000 and were awarded to two communities. Non-Urban Indoor Grants are given to municipalities with a population less than 500,000 and were awarded to four communities.
For more information about the local park grants program, visit the TPWD local park grants page.