NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — On Thursday afternoon, Gov. Bill Lee and the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) announced a total of $26,501,705.74 has been awarded to 32 communities across the Volunteer State for local parks and recreation projects.
“From Mountain City to Memphis, our state is blessed with natural beauty and rich resources,” Lee said. “These investments are critical in providing outdoor experiences for Tennesseans to enjoy for generations to come, and I appreciate the Tennessee General Assembly’s partnership in this effort.”
Officials said this funding is made possible through the Local Parks and Recreation Fund (LPRF), a competitive grant program that provides money via reimbursements for awarded projects with qualified expenses.
These funds — which are reportedly administered by TDEC’s Division of Recreation Resources — may be used to purchase land for parks, natural areas, greenways, and recreational facilities.
“The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation is proud to assist local leaders across the state with these important projects in their communities,” TDEC Commissioner David Salyers said. “We look forward to seeing these projects enhance communities across the state.”
The news comes after Lee’s September Conservation Tour, with visits to multiple state parks across Tennessee.
Officials said the Lee administration is committed to furthering the state’s conservation strategy in the coming years by building on the recommendations of public and private stakeholders, exploring opportunities to improve water infrastructure and quality, supporting natural areas, expanding safe nuclear energy production, and more.
According to TDEC, grants have been awarded to a total of 32 localities around the Volunteer State, including the following Middle Tennessee communities:
- City of Camden: $440,000 for improvements at Camden City Park, including an amphitheater, a new restroom facility, and ADA-compliant walkways
- Town of Centerville: $72,100 for two sets of playground equipment at C.A. Thompson Park
- City of Greenbrier: $290,000 for improvements at Louise Martin Community Park, including site work, like demolition, grading, and landscaping; construction of a parking area with ADA-compliant parking; ADA-compliant walkways for playground access; and construction of a nature playground
- Grundy County: $1,945,000 for the creation of an inclusive playground, Miracle on the Mountain Play Outside Park on State Route 108 in Coalmont, including the acquisition of 23.74 acres of land, poured-in-place safety surfacing and artificial turf, a decorative metal fence, grading, a parking lot, a retaining wall, and a driveway
- Town of Pleasant View: $444,575 for improvements at Community Park, including site work, a new playground structure with ADA-compliant components, four new tennis courts with lighting, and an ADA-compliant walkway
- City of Portland: $1,586,800 for improvements at Richland Park and Dogwood Hills Municipal Golf Course
- At Richland Park, the project includes the construction of a splashpad, a controls/pump room building, ADA-compliant restrooms, a parking lot with ADA-compliant parking, lighting, site work, and ADA-compliant walkways
- At Dogwood Hills Municipal Golf Course, the project includes the replacement of the irrigation system
- City of Springfield: $500,000 for improvements at Garner Street Park, including the replacement of the playground, ADA-compliant renovations to the restrooms and pavilion, and the conversion of an existing tennis court into two pickleball courts.
- Stewart County: $1,300,000 for improvements at various parks and recreation areas — including demolition of a deteriorated school building and construction of a restroom at Cumberland City Park; lighting and walkway repairs at Stewart County Athletic Association Fields; multi-purpose fields and drainage improvements at Stewart County Community Park; playground equipment, a pavilion, and site improvements at Hickman Creek Park; and improvements to restrooms and playground equipment, a splashpad, a pickleball court, a cornhole court, a volleyball court, ADA improvements, and parking improvements at Dover Park — as well as the creation of a new park, Indian Mound Park along Highway 46 in Indian Mound, with playground equipment and a pavilion
- City of Winchester: $475,000 for improvements at City Park, including lighting for the ball fields and ADA-compliant restrooms