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Brevard, Lake Lure win park grants

Brevard won a $90,000 grant to expand the Estatoe Greenway and Lake Lure received $223,000 to acquire land for the Rocky Broad River Park while Henderson County towns failed to win grants this year from the N.C. Parks and Recreation Trust Fund.

The state announced $6.7 million in PARTF grants to fund 27 local parks and recreation projects across the state. The North Carolina Parks and Recreation Trust Fund Authority approved the grants on Friday.

“Parks and Recreation Trust Fund projects support conservation, strengthen communities, and help local economies thrive,” Gov. Roy Cooper said in a news release. “These grants improve quality of life and encourage residents and visitors to get outdoors.”

Local communities applied for the grants to fund land acquisition, development and renovation of public park and recreation areas. The N.C. Parks and Recreation Authority considered 50 grant applications requesting $12.6 million. The maximum grant awarded for a single project under the program was $500,000. Awardees must match funds dollar-for-dollar for the awarded amount.

Susi Hamilton, who worked in community planning before her tenure as secretary of the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, has seen firsthand how these grants impact communities. “From our most rural areas to our largest towns and cities, PARTF grants instill new life into our communities and continue to benefit these areas for generations.”

“Robust recreational opportunities in our communities are more important than ever before,” said Dwayne Patterson, director of the Division of State Parks and Recreation. “We look forward to seeing these projects come to fruition to improve our physical and mental health and the vitality of our communities."