LITTLE ROCK – The Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism is awarding $6.489 million in Outdoor Recreation Grants to projects within 35 counties across the state. The grants fall into two categories: Facilities for Underdeveloped Neighborhoods (FUN) Park grants and matching grants.
“These grants help projects to complete or improve upon facilities that provide quality outdoor recreational opportunities within our local communities,” said Mike Mills, secretary of the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism. “Not only do these projects improve quality of life for the people who live in these communities, they also boost the local economy by providing additional amenities to draw visitors who will shop, dine and may even stay overnight.”
The 2023 matching grant recipients include:
Prescott (Nevada County) to provide a shade structure and basketball goals for Prescott City Park; to construct an ADA-accessible parking pad that will connect to the concession stand, install a chain link fence, lighting and a gravel parking lot at McRae Park – $36,676.15
The 2023 FUN Park grant recipients include:
Emmet (Nevada County) to construct a multi-purpose pavilion with electrical and water access, repair existing walking trail and parking at Fireman’s Park – $100,000.00
The Outdoor Recreation Grants Program (ORGP) has provided $50.3 million in matching grants since 1988 and $14.3 million in FUN Park grants since 1991. These awards have helped cities and counties develop public outdoor recreation facilities.
“The program has accomplished so much since its inception,” said Matt McNair, director of the ORGP. “However, I’m even more excited about the work we’ll accomplish this year because this is the largest total award amount that we’ve ever given away.”
Project officers make recommendations regarding the feasibility of proposed facilities, eligibility for grant monies and other facets of the planning process. Each year, nearly 200 site visits are conducted to assist local communities.
“Through these grants we’re engaging more Arkansans with the outdoors and creating spaces where the outdoors intersects with quality of life, public health, wellness and economic development,” said Katherine Andrews, director of the Arkansas Office of Outdoor Recreation.
Outdoor Recreation Grants Program
The Outdoor Recreation Grants Program (ORGP) resides within the Arkansas Office of Outdoor Recreation and is tasked with the promotion and facilitation of public outdoor recreation in Arkansas. To help accomplish these goals, the ORGP offers technical and funding assistance for land acquisition and development of public outdoor recreation facilities to local governments throughout the state. Funding for matching and FUN Park grants is provided by a portion of the Real Estate Transfer Tax administered by the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration.