Among the most beneficial-to-Florida federal grant programs is the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which provides matching grants to help local communities protect parks and develop recreational resources. And on Friday the Florida Department of Environmental Protection announced the latest round of Sunshine State "winners" in the program -- 10 in all, for a total of $1.8 million.
(Have a look at the projects at the bottom of this story.)
The U.S. Department of the Interior's Land and Water Conservation Fund has benefited nearly every county in America, supporting more than 41,000 projects.
According to a statement from the DEP, eight of the 10 Florida projects were funded at the maximum grant request of $200,000. The remaining two were funded at the applicant requested amounts of $175,000 and $50,000. The matching ratio is one applicant dollar to one federal dollar for all grant awards.
Local governments recognize the importance of providing outdoor recreation options to their residents and utilize grant match programs like the Land and Water Conservation Fund to invest in their community, said Rick Mercer, director of DEP's Office of Operations. We are thrilled that these 10 projects are executed and we join the nation in celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
From building hiking and biking trails, to improving community parks, playgrounds and ball fields, this grant-matching program is the primary federal investment tool to ensure families have easy access to public, open spaces.
The U.S. Department of the Interior's Land and Water Conservation Fund is executed through the National Park Service.
Some examples of the projects funded in Florida during this cycle include:
- Construction of a playground/play area, nature trail, picnic pavilion, boardwalk, observation deck and related facilities including parking and signage at Keaton Beach Coastal Park, Taylor County;
- Construction of an observation deck with walkway access, picnic pavilions and shelters, kayak and canoe launch, horseshoe court, and other related facilities at Legacy Park in the city of Venice, Sarasota County; and
- Development of an expanded pedestrian trail, a floating boat dock, an off-road bike trail, restroom renovations, an expanded parking lot and other related facilities at Hampton Pines Park in the city of North Lauderdale, Broward County.