Nearly $300,000 in state grants going to 9 area counties for outdoor recreation amenities

Nine area counties from Logan to Warren will receive nearly $300,000 from the state for new outdoor recreation amenities that range from a swimming pool upgrade to building an Americans with Disabilities Act - accessible restroom.

Gov. Mike DeWine and Mary Mertz, Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) director, awarded $1.7 million in grants Tuesday to support dozens of outdoor recreation projects in communities throughout Ohio.

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“We are excited to help communities all over Ohio create fun, safe, and inclusive outdoor recreation opportunities,” DeWine said. “These grants help local parks improve and upgrade their outdoor spaces for citizens of Ohio.”

The grants, awarded as part of the NatureWorks program, will support 68 outdoor recreation projects in 62 counties including Butler, Clark, Greene, Logan, Mercer, Miami, Montgomery, Preble and Warren.

Projects include the development of playgrounds, natural playscapes, trails, restrooms, dog parks, baseball fields, basketball courts, tennis and pickleball courts, splash pads, and picnic shelters.

“These grants give us an opportunity to partner with local communities and invest in outdoor recreation across the Buckeye State,” Mertz said. “We are always looking for ways to get families and friends to get out and enjoy the beautiful spaces that can be found right in their own neighborhoods.”

NatureWorks grants provide up to 75 percent reimbursement assistance to local government subdivisions for the acquisition, development, and rehabilitation of recreational areas. Projects are funded through the Ohio Parks and Natural Resources Bond Issue, which was approved by Ohioans in November 1993.

Additional legislation authorized the creation of the NatureWorks Grant Program.

Here are the projects and awards going to Dayton-area counties:

◊ Butler (Oxford): $46,206 to install ADA-accessible features at Oxford Community Park

◊ Clark (New Carlisle): $45,000 to replace concrete pad, install 3 shelter at the city municipal swimming pool

◊ Greene (Bellbrook Sugarcreek Park District): $41,876 to install accessible walkway with musical play features and a shade sail and sensory sound path at Petrikis Park

◊ Logan (DeGraff): $14,720 to install swing bench, 4 picnic tables, fitness station, 5 disc golf holes and 3 dog waste stations at DeGraff Village Park

◊ Logan (West Liberty) $9,868 to demolish existing restroom and prepare site for new restroom at Lions Park

◊ Mercer (Coldwater) $11,068 to build a dog park at Coldwater Bark Park

◊ Miami (West Milton) $21,022 to rebuild retaining wall, add ADA-accessible sidewalk at West Milton parks

◊ Montgomery (Vandalia) $61,052 to build ADA-accessible restroom building at Robinette Park

◊ Preble (Lewisburg) $10,900 to replace chain link fence and add netting at the ball diamond, at Lewis Community Park

◊ Warren (Hamilton Twp.) $31,253 to build a picnic shelter at Marr Park