Governor announces $4.34 million for outdoor recreation projects in Arkansas

Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders delivers remarks at the grand opening of the new Pinnacle Mountain State Park Visitor Center in this Nov. 28, 2023 file photo. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Stephen Swofford)
Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders delivers remarks at the grand opening of the new Pinnacle Mountain State Park Visitor Center in this Nov. 28, 2023 file photo. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Stephen Swofford)

Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced in a release Monday that the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism will award $4.34 million in outdoor recreation grants for projects across the state.

"My administration is looking for any opportunity to get kids and families off screens and outdoors. It's a priority for our whole state," Sanders said in the release announcing the grants. "This year's multi-million-dollar investment in playgrounds, park facilities, and more will provide added amenities to communities from the Delta to the Ozarks. It's all part of my goal to make Arkansas the best state in America to live, work, and raise a family."

Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism Secretary Shea Lewis said in the release that the Outdoor Recreation Grants Program has provided $52.6 million in matching funds since 1988 and $16.4 million in Facilities for Underdeveloped Neighborhoods Park grants since 1991.

"These funds have undoubtedly enriched the quality of life for Arkansans statewide, fostering greater access to outdoor recreation and bolstering the vitality of local economies," Lewis said.

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.

Matching grant recipients are:

Alma (Crawford County): $210,000 to install play equipment, construct a restroom facility, and provide amenities and access at Christello Park.

Camden (Ouachita County): $210,000 to install inclusive play equipment and accessibility improvements at Carnes Park.

Crawford County: $135,705 to construct a walking trail and associated accessibility improvements at Diamond Center Complex.

Daisy (Pike County): $24,857 to install new play equipment and improve accessibility at Daisy City Park.

Delaplaine (Greene County): $73,300 to construct a basketball facility, ball field fencing, ball field seating, access, and accessible parking at Delaplaine City Park.

Forrest City (St. Francis County): $62,241.40 to provide access to restroom and programming facilities, and other access and amenity improvements as funds allow at Dennis Memorial Park.

Hot Springs (Garland County): $80,000 to construct a bicycle playground at Velocity Park.

Huntsville (Madison County): $210,000 to construct a splash pad, restroom facility, drinking fountains, and associated accessibility improvements in Madison County Walking Trail Park.

Magnolia (Columbia County): $100,650 to install play equipment and park amenities, upgrade pavilion, and construct safety and accessibility improvements at East Side City Park.

Mineral Springs (Howard County): $30,500 to repair and upgrade concession stand and restroom facilities and install bleachers at Bridgeman Park.

Newport (Jackson County): $74,176.00 to improve accessibility and safety through parking and sidewalk repair/redesign/paving and install new play equipment at George Kell Park.

Ozark (Franklin County): $80,000.00 for compliance and safety upgrades to the restroom facility and pavilion, amenity, and splash pad upgrades at West Side Park (optional if funds remain).

Pea Ridge (Benton County): $210,000 to construct an all-inclusive play facility at North Curtis Avenue Park.

Scott County: $90,000 to construct pickleball and basketball courts, install park amenities, and improve/upgrade pavilion, soccer field, and accessibility at Sodie Davidson Park in Waldron.

Searcy (White County): $125,000 to install field lighting at Searcy Soccer Complex and provide ADA-compliant play equipment at Berryhill Park.

Searcy County: $110,936.60 to repair and refurbish the pool, restrooms, and concession facility at Searcy County Civic Center and improve seating, accessibility and lighting at Civic Center ball fields.

Sherwood (Pulaski County): $210,000. to construct a restroom and basketball facility, install signage, lighting, and park amenities, and improve accessibility and safety at Lake Cherrywood Park.

West Memphis: (Crittenden County): $210,000 to purchase and install play equipment, provide access, improve safety and upgrade the pavilion in Hicks Park.

Facilities for Underdeveloped Neighborhoods Park grant recipients are:

Ash Flat (Sharp County): $100,000 to construct a new pavilion and to install lighting and accessibility features at Ash Flat Ball Park.

Calhoun County: $99,000 to light and resurface existing walking trail at Woodberry Park.

Calico Rock (Izard County): $99,888.00 to improve accessibility and install ball field lighting and ball field retaining wall at Earl King Park.

Cove (Polk County): $100,000 to install new play equipment, park amenities and accessibility improvements at Cove Memorial Park.

Crawfordsville (Crittenden County): $100,000 to construct a pavilion, walking trail, and accessibility features at Old School Yard Park and to construct a new play area, basketball facility,and accessibility features at Boone Street Park.

Egypt (Craighead County): $100,000 to install play equipment, outdoor exercise equipment, pavilion, walking track, and accessibility features in Egypt City Park.

England (Lonoke County): $97,470 to replace outdated play equipment and construct accessibility features at Elm Street Park.

Franklin (Izard County): $100,000 to install new play equipment, refurbish existing play equipment, and construct accessibility features at Franklin City Park.

Glenwood (Pike County): $99,430 to construct a new play area and walkways at John Benjamin Lake Park.

Grubbs (Jackson County): $100,000 to install new play equipment, park amenities, and to improve access at Grubbs City Park.

Independence County: $100,000 To install new play equipment and improve access at Desha Park.

Jericho (Crittenden County): $100,000 to install new play equipment, grills, park amenities, and to improve access at Jericho Town Park.

Keiser (Mississippi County): $100,000 to install new play equipment and park amenities at Keiser City Park.

Madison County: $100,000 to install new play equipment and improve access at Wesley Community Park.

McNeil (Columbia County): $99,430 to construct a play area, pavilion, accessibility features, and to install park amenities at McNeil City Park.

Newton County: $100,000 to construct a walking trail, pavilion, seating, play area, and accessibility features at Parthenon Community Park.

Ozan (Hempstead County): $100,000 to install new play area, basketball facility, accessibility features, and park amenities at Ozan Park.

Pyatt (Marion County): $100,000 to construct a new play area, fencing, accessibility features, seating, and to repair the basketball facility at Pyatt Downtown Park.

Searcy County: $100,000 to install playground equipment and to construct a pavilion, walking trail, seating, and accessibility improvements in Witts Springs Community Park.

Traskwood (Saline County): $97,700 to construct a new play area and access improvements in Traskwood City Park.

Viola (Fulton County): $100,000 to construct a new play area and access improvements in Viola City Park.

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