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Oct 04 2013

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Rec Dept. Receives $75,000 Grant

When it comes to improving the quality of life in Scott County, the Department of Parks and Recreation works tirelessly to make improvements in the county’s parks and along the waterways.

Last week, the county’s recreation department received a $75,000 Land and Water Conservation Fund Grant to resurface the three tennis courts, improve the walking trail and add a picnic area to the Duffield Community Park located next Duffield Primary School.

Some of the grant funds will also be used for improvements the Scott County Park and Golf Course, including the paving and sealing of the parking lot and cart paths. There will be over 1,050 feet of new cart paths placed along the course to connect the others and 20 new parking spots will be provided at the Scott County Park.

“These are quality of life issues,” said Skip Sheets, Director of Scott County Parks and Recreation. “We are trying to promote good health and lifetime activities that will positively impact the quality of life for the great citizens of Scott County.”

According to Sheets, these improvements provide modernized facilities to a wide variety of citizens in Scott County and the surrounding communities. And three lifetime activities – tennis, golf and walking – will be enhanced.

All other funds to complete the projects will be raised in kind with volunteer labor and equipment through the Scott County Public Service Authority, inmate programs, the Scott County Telephone Co-Op and other government agencies.

“Total community collaboration from the numerous agencies and volunteers will work to see this project come to fruition,” added Sheets. “Scott County, by its nature, thrives on outdoor recreation. Without LWCF grant funding and DCR assistance, these improvements would not be feasible due to the governmental budgetary constraints. By raising the other funds in kind, we will be saving the taxpayers and the county money.”

The Scott County Department of Parks and Recreation has worked on outdoor recreation issues over the years and now has established eight hand-launch ramps in Scott County along the Clinch and Holston Rivers. There are five ramps along the Clinch and three along the Holston.

Since only a handful of groups were awarded the aforementioned grants, other government officials also expressed words of gratitude for the diligent and hard work of the Department of Parks and Recreation.

The Land and Water Conservation Fund Act of 1965 established a federal reimbursement program for the acquisition and/or development of public outdoor recreation areas. The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) is administered in Virginia by the Department of Conservation & Recreation (DCR) for the National Park Service.

The program represents a federal, state and local partnership. A key feature of the program is that all LWCF assisted areas must be maintained and opened, in perpetuity, as public outdoor recreation areas. This requirement ensures their use for future generations.

Since the LWCF began 45 years ago, Virginia has received more than $76 million in assistance. It has made more than 400 projects possible.

The LWCF is a 50-50 percent matching reimbursement program. Grant recipients must be able to fund 100 percent of the project while seeking periodic reimbursements.

“Congratulations to the Scott County Department of Parks and Recreation on securing this grant award,” said Ninth District Congressman Morgan Griffith. “My office was glad to be of assistance on this grant request but primarily I applaud the efforts of local people who worked to secure this funding, including Del. Terry Kilgore.”

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