$1.1 Million Awarded to Improve Outdoor Recreation

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources has selected five Missouri cities to receive a total of $1.1 million in Land and Water Conservation Fund grants to improve public outdoor recreation areas.

“As an agency, we are continually focused on improving the quality of life for Missourians,” said Missouri Department of Natural Resources Director Dru Buntin. “Communities can accomplish this with the financial assistance of these grants. We also hope to build long-lasting partnerships with these communities.”

“These grants provide much-needed park improvements to cities that might not be able to afford them otherwise,” said Missouri State Parks Director David Kelly. “From upgrading and improving swimming facilities to installing new playground equipment, the towns and cities will be improving their outdoor recreation opportunities for their citizens and visitors.”

While improving and maintaining infrastructure at Missouri’s 92 state parks and historic sites is one of MoDNR’s priorities, Buntin said the department also looks to find more effective and efficient ways to target funding assistance to help Missouri communities thrive.

Nearly 80% of the department’s budget passes through to local communities. The Land and Water Conservation Fund awards are an important part of this effort. From 2016 to 2020, MoDNR has passed $13.1 million in these grants to communities throughout Missouri.

Cities receiving grants in the current round include:

City of Lancaster
The City of Lancaster received $46,635 for the Jaycee Park Improvements Project. The grant will help the community install new playground equipment with safety surfacing, renovate the restroom, install new lights at shelter #1 and increase accessibility.

City of Mountain View
Mountain View received $238,350 for pool upgrades and renovations. Due to its condition, the city’s main pool closed in 2021. The grant will enable the city to renovate the kiddie pool and the main swimming pool, improve accessibility and reopen the pools.

City of Kirksville
Kirksville received $87,640 for the Patryla Park restroom facilities and accessibility upgrades. The park is home to Spur Pond, as well as baseball and softball fields. Spur Pond is the only public body of water in northern Missouri that is stocked with rainbow trout. The grant will be used to construct a restroom at Spur Pond and to renovate the restroom at the baseball and softball fields.

City of California
California received $500,000 for a new splash park and swimming pool. The new splash park will be created just outside the community’s indoor swimming pool and will offer more activities for the community’s youth. The grant will also be used to construct a smaller outdoor swimming pool with zero entry, splash pad, play structure, water walk, climbing wall, water benches and an Olympic-sized pool with a diving board.

Bothwell Lodge State Historic Site and Knob Noster State Park
Bothwell Lodge State Historic Site and Knob Noster State Park received $239,374 for playground upgrades. Bothwell Lodge State Historic Site will install new play equipment and bonded rubber surfacing at the day-use playground.

Knob Noster State Park will renovate playgrounds in the campground and day-use areas by adding new equipment and safety surfacing.

The Land and Water Conservation Fund was created in 1965 by the Land and Water Conservation Fund Act and provides federal funding to states through the National Parks Service. In Missouri, the fund is administered by the Department of Natural Resources. The next grant round opens in August.

For more information on these grants, visit mostateparks.com/page/61215/land-and-water-conservation-fund-lwcf-grants or email mspgrants@dnr.mo.gov.  For more information on Missouri’s state parks and historic sites, visit mostateparks.com.

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