Morristown Parks & Rec Receives State Grant
Gov. Bill Haslam and Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) Commissioner Bob Martineau recently announced a series of grants totaling more than $17 million to help fund parks and recreation projects throughout the state of Tennessee. Grant recipients were selected through a scoring process with careful consideration given to the projects that met the selection criteria and expressed the greatest local recreation need. Morristown Parks and Recreation was proud to receive $500,000 of the grant award.
The Local Parks and Recreation Fund (LPRF) grant program was established by the General Assembly in 1991 to provide local governments with funds to purchase land for parks, natural areas, greenways and recreational facilities. The funds also may be used for development of trails and projects in parks, natural areas and greenways. All LPRF grants require a 50 percent match by the recipient. The City of Morristown will need to match the grant with $500,000 of local funds, bringing a total of $1 million being invested into improvements at Morristown park facilities.
Earlier this year, P&R Director Craig Price, along with other staff members, began working on putting together a proposal to the grant committee. Open forums were held and surveys distributed to get input from the public on what they saw as needs for our parks facilities. It was identified that many Morristown parks are lacking in handicap accessibility. In accordance with the American Disabilities Act, Price wanted to add better parking access, access to walking trails, accessible pavilions and bathroom facilities, and signage. He also hoped to expand current walking trails and add playground and shelter features.
The City of Morristown has 2 years to use the grant dollars. It is the hope of the City staff that improvements be completed within 18 months of receiving funds. First item to be addressed will be the paving and concrete work so that it can be finished before winter weather sets in. Other improvements will be done as weather permits.