Here’s the press release from the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources:
N.C. Gov. Perdue Announces State Parks Trust Fund Grants to Seven Local Governments
RALEIGH – North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue today announced the award of $1.9 million in grants from the N.C. Parks and Recreation Trust Fund to seven local governments for parks and recreation projects.
“Projects to expand and build new parks and recreation facilities create jobs and improve the economic well-being of our communities,” Perdue said. “Through the local grant program of the Parks and Recreation Trust Fund, state and local governments have been partners in this effort to improve the economy while providing recreation opportunities that make North Carolina communities healthier and more livable.”
The matching grants, awarded by the Parks and Recreation Authority, will help fund land acquisition, development and renovation of public parks and recreation areas. The authority considered 60 grant applications requesting more than $12.6 million. A maximum of $500,000 can be awarded to a single project. Grants are announced quarterly and 28 grants totaling $5.5 million have been awarded this year.
The Parks and Recreation Trust Fund is administered through the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation and was established in 1994 when the General Assembly dedicated 75 percent of the state’s share of the excise tax on real estate deed transfers to the fund. The revenue is distributed to three programs: 65 percent to the state parks system for repairs, capital improvements and land acquisition; 30 percent for matching grants to local parks and recreation programs for development and land acquisition; and 5 percent to the coastal beach access program.
“In addition to the obvious economic benefits this program brings to North Carolina communities, parks and recreation provides our citizens with cleaner air and water and better places to live and play,” said Lewis Ledford, state parks director.
Since 1995, the Parks and Recreation Authority has received 1,351 grant applications with requests totaling about $286 million. The board has awarded 716 grants for $160 million.
The local governments receiving grants in the most recent cycle are: Cabarrus County, which received $350,000 for improvements to Rob Wallace Park; Buncombe County, which received $40,057 to develop a parking lot and trail head for the Collier property; Lincoln County, which received $352,432 for the East Lincoln Rescue Park; Rutherford County, which received $300,000 to acquire 100 acres for a trail system in Youngs Mountain Trail Park; Yadkin County, which received $500,000 for picnic shelters, two trails, a fishing pier, canoe launch and other improvements to the 5D Reservoir Recreation Area; the town of Navassa, which received $96,000 for a softball field, basketball court, playground and picnic area at Phoenix Park; and the town of Bailey, which received $250,000 for a picnic shelter, playground, walking trail, amphitheater and other improvements to phase II of the Bailey-Middlesex Community Park.