MONROE, N.C. — Two parks and recreation projects in Monroe will get some additional monetary support to help them move forward.
On Tuesday, the city government announced it had been awarded $500,000 from the State of North Carolina's Parks and Recreation Trust Fund (PARTF), which offers a 50/50 matching grant program to local parks and recreation departments for development projects. The city of Monroe will be using the funds for two projects: developing the third phase of the Bearskin Creek Greenway and renovating Creft Park.
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Parks and Recreation Director Ryan Jones hopes the expansion for the greenway will bring the community closer.
“It's all about connectivity -- greenways connect parks to other areas of the city that people need to need to get to," he said.
The greenway, located at Don Griffin Park, will be extended by 0.4 miles to connect to both Creft Park and Belk Tonawanda Park. Meanwhile, Creft Park's renovations will include an additional shelter, bathroom facility renovation, an outdoor fitness cluster, an inclusive swing, inclusive play areas, a multi-purpose kids' zone, and walking loops.
Jones stresses the grant helps the department make sure Monroe's parks can be enjoyed by everyone.
“Our focus is moving forward is inclusivity, meaning that we're going to provide opportunities for every ability, every need that we can to play together, not separate.”
The $500,000 Monroe got was part of $21 million granted to municipalities across the state. The city said 52 grant applications were considered by the Parks and Recreation Authority, and ultimately 19 received grants. This is also the second time in the last four years Monroe has received a PARTF grant.
PARTF grants are awarded by the state Division of Parks and Recreation annually during a quarterly meeting of the Parks and Recreation Authority in August. The fund itself is allocated by the state budget.
Monroe's matching funds are available in the greenway reserve fund, part of the budget approved by the city council for fiscal year 2023.
A timeline for when the projects would get underway wasn't shared.
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