The Park District of Ottawa County has the money to grow its park system after its 10-year, 0.6-mill park levy was approved by voters in 2020. Now it wants applications to help determine how to allocate about $200,000 in annual project grants, according to new Executive Director Jannah Wilson.
“The grant opportunities are for Ottawa County political subdivisions, public schools and public libraries to apply for funding in order to offer greater access to outdoor recreation opportunities,” said Wilson. “Grant projects are required to provide improvements to public outdoor recreation facilities, green spaces or trails located all or partly in Ottawa County.”
The Board of Park Commissioners has approved up to $200,000 in funds for the grant program. Digital applications are available online at www.ottawacountyparksoh.org or by e-mailing Wilson at firstname.lastname@example.org. Interested applicants may also make an appointment to pick up a paper copy by contacting the Park District office in Port Clinton at 419-707-4051.
Completed applications must be submitted no later than Wednesday, May 25th at 4:30 p.m. Entities will be notified of grant approval status by June 30.
This is a reimbursement program, with funds dispersed after the project is completed and proper documentation is submitted. With this grant program the Park District is working toward its mission to connect, enhance and protect the natural, scenic, environmental and cultural resources of Ottawa County for the enjoyment of residents and visitors. The members of the Board of Park Commissioners are looking forward to working together toward common outdoor recreation improvement goals.
A main goal is to provide outdoor access to public spaces. That could be trails for increasing accessibility for hikers and bikers, trail amenities, or to increase the user-friendly nature of a park, pointed out Wilson.
“Want to leave it up to communities to provide us with projects they want or need. Some communities might need other types of recreational improvements, such as a canoe and kayak launch, fishing docks or a wildlife observation deck,” said Wilson. “The Park District of Ottawa County wanted to leave it somewhat open-ended, allowing communities to write the grants where improvements should be made in their area.”
For one area, that might be to create a parking area to allow access to good trails, walkways or multi-use trails that serve more people. It could be a library wanting to create a Story Walk Trail, or a village or township working together with other agencies to provide more recreation.
Wilson said the Park District of Ottawa County is scheduling monthly meetings to get more community input, and will move the meetings around the Ottawa County to encourage people to attend. A meeting last Tuesday, April 5, was well attended at the Ottawa County Agriculture Extension office in the Village of Oak Harbor. The next meeting is Tuesday, April 19 at 6 p.m. at the Catawba Township Hall’s Community Room, and a 6 p.m. meeting is tentatively set to be held in June at the Genoa Civic Theater in the Village of Genoa.