$500K grants awarded for parks in Memphis, Munford, Ripley

Published: May. 10, 2022 at 7:24 AM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) announced Monday a $500,000 parks and recreation grant each for Memphis, Munford and Ripley, Tennessee.

The grant is part of $6,370,000 awarded to communities throughout the state from the Local Parks and Recreation Fund (LPRF) program and the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) program. The state is also awarding $448,000 in grants from the Recreation Trails Program (RTP).

“Local leaders need resources to provide recreational activities for their communities, and this is a way to help make it happen,” said TDEC Deputy Commissioner Jim Bryson. “We are pleased to announce these grants and look forward to the recreation projects that result from this assistance.”

In Memphis, the grant will go towards Audubon Park. The work at Audubon Park includes a splash pad of approximately 9,250 square feet.

“Audubon Park is a treasure for the City of Memphis and our community,” said Sen. London Lamar, D-Memphis. “I’m thrilled with this new grant project because I understand fully that the investments we make in our public spaces are smart investments in happy kids, strong families and connected communities.”

The project in Munford is to acquire the First Citizens National Bank parcel (0.925 acres) for the development of Veterans Plaza downtown and includes demolition of an existing building, site clearing and site preparation.

The plan is to construct an amphitheater, ADA accessible restrooms, pavilions/shade structures, walkways, seated planters/seat walls, a parallel access drive, landscaping, signage and site amenities.

“The construction of Veterans Plaza in downtown Munford will be a tremendous benefit to the community,” said Sen. Paul Rose, R-Covington. “An amphitheater will provide a way to showcase live talent while promoting tourism and the arts within the community. I appreciate our local officials for identifying worthwhile projects and for submitting a successful grant application that will benefit the people of Munford.”

“Veterans Plaza will be a wonderful addition to our community honoring the men and women who served our nation and it will also create a beneficial economic impact by inviting visitors to Munford for events at the amphitheater,” said Rep. Debra Moody, R-Covington. “I was proud to support their application and congratulate our local leaders who were instrumental in helping to secure these funds for this very worthy project.”

The City of Ripley will also use this grant money for improvements at Ripley City Park.

The project is for water park improvements, including the addition of a splash pad and its support facilities, as well as renovations for ADA accessibility at the existing pool and restroom facilities.

Improvements on the east side of the park include the addition of lighting and electrical sources at a new amphitheater, ADA accessible restroom facilities, an ADA accessible parking lot and ADA accessible routes.

“Our Parks and Recreation facilities at the Ripley City Park are vital to our communities and help bring families and people together while promoting physical activity,” said Sen. Ed Jackson, R-Jackson. “I am glad to see these investments going to projects in our area and look forward to the improvements that result. Local officials did great work to secure these grants, and I appreciate all their efforts to improve our communities.”

“I am excited that Ripley City Park has been chosen to receive this important grant,” said Rep. Chris Hurt, R-Halls. “These projects will better serve visitors and improve accessibility at the park. I applaud all of those who worked diligently to secure this substantial funding and look forward to completion of these improvements.”

The LPRF program provides state funding for the purchase of land for parks, natural areas, greenways, and recreational facilities. LPRF funds also may be used for trail development and capital projects in parks, natural areas, and greenways.

The LWCF program provides grants to states to administer to state and local governments for the acquisition and development of public outdoor recreation areas and facilities. The grants require a 50-percent match.

The RTP is a federally funded, state-administered grant program, that provides funds for land acquisition for trails, trail maintenance, trail construction, trail rehabilitation and trailhead support facilities. These grants are distributed in the form of an 80% grant with a 20% match.

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