The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission approved more than $21.6 million in competitive local park grants to help fund projects that will create and enhance outdoor recreational opportunities like nature trails, native gardens, playgrounds, splash pads, dog parks and sports fields at 38 community parks state-wide.
The grants, allocated to local government entities, appropriate state and federal funding dedicated for the acquisition and/or development of public recreation areas and facilities in Texas on a 50/50 reimbursement match basis. Once funded, all grant-assisted sites must be dedicated as parkland in perpetuity, properly maintained and open to the public.
The Island received a $125,000 small community grant to be used for John L. Tompkins Park Phase III. Proposed development and renovations include a shade structure over the basketball court and an addition to the skatepark.
Elsewhere in the Rio Grande Valley, Cameron County received a $643,097 non-urban outdoor grant for La Esperanza Community Park. Proposed developments include an all-inclusive water play area, trails and walkways, fitness equipment, butterfly garden, interpretive signage in English, Spanish and Braille, all-inclusive benches and picnic areas, perimeter fencing, parking lot and professional services.
Mission got a $750,000 non-urban outdoor grant for Lions Park improvements that include all-inclusive playground, splash pad, shade structures and professional services. Alamo also received $750,000 for a group picnic shelter, trails, prairie restoration, butterfly garden, accessible playground equipment, soccer, basketball, and exercise stations.
Hidalgo County WCID received a similar grant of $750,000 for improvements at Sendero Park that will include parkland donation, trails, site amenities, picnic facilities, playground equipment with zip line, shade canopy, pet stations, and lighting.