MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Gov. Kay Ivey on Thursday announced grants totaling $2.6 million will go to 12 Alabama communities to improve outdoor recreational facilities. The City of Cullman will receive $350,000 to renovate Nesmith Park on the city’s southwest side. Work will include the construction of a splash pad, playground, basketball and pickleball (paddleball) courts, multi-use fields, a walking trail and restrooms.
Cullman City Councilman and Chairman of the City’s Tourism Committee, Clint Hollingsworth said the grant will be a big help toward completing the project.
“The scope of the project is going to be closer to $700,000-$800,000 total for everything, but that $350,000 really, really is a big help,” he said. “We’re going to be able to do a really nice splash pad and really nice baseball field and several other things- I think pickleball courts and lacrosse and all sorts of things. That area of town, I think, is the ideal location, and we’ll have a lot to offer for all the residents in that area. Obviously not just the city and county, but everybody will benefit. We’re excited about it!”
Hollingsworth said work will start on the project early next year and hopefully be completed within the year.
The state grants were made through the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).
“Alabama’s parks, playgrounds and trails promote healthier lives and happier people,” Ivey said. “These projects will encourage people to enjoy Alabama’s outdoors, and they will help create memories that will last a lifetime. I commend local leaders for understanding that parks and playgrounds contribute so much to a community’s health and wellbeing.”
The LWCF program was created by Congress in 1965 to assist states with the development and preservation of outdoor recreational facilities. The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) manages the program in Alabama.
“Parks and playgrounds that are well-maintained and frequently used say so much about a community and its people,” ADECA Director Kenneth Boswell said. “ADECA is pleased to be a partner with Governor Ivey, the National Park Service and these local communities in making these projects a reality.”
Under the LWCF program, recipients are required to equally match the amount of the award with cash or in-kind commitments.
The remaining 11 grants and projects (listed geographically from north to south) awarded were:
- Anderson ($8,000)- The Lauderdale County town will create an outdoor nature learning center at the Anderson Town Park where children will learn about insects, plants and aquatic life from a nearby stream.
- Rogersville ($118,766) – Funds will be used to build four tennis courts and rehabilitate two existing courts at the town park.
- Huntsville ($230,000) – The Huntsville-Madison County Marina and Port Authority will use funds to improve safety, security and access at Ditto Landing by dredging the harbor, installing new docks, refurbishing the boat ramp and improving bathrooms, lighting and the entrance.
- Springville ($175,000)- The city will renovate baseball and softball fields at Springville City Park including press boxes and concession stands and add parking.
- Trussville ($175,000) –The project will include renovating existing baseball and softball fields at Masonic Park/Cahaba Creek Greenway and add outdoor exercise equipment.
- Lincoln ($350,000)- The city will construct a park on a newly acquired 190-acre site. Development under the grant will include a playground, picnic areas, walking trail, restrooms, parking, signage and landscaping.
- Demopolis ($247,675) – The city will upgrade two ballfields including lighting and batting cages at Demopolis Sports Plex.
- Pike Road ($350,000) – The town will build two multi-purpose ballfields, parking and walks on a 5-acre site which is part of a larger tract donated to the town.
- Clayton ($21,631) – The city will use funds to provide playground equipment at Peanut Butter Hill Park.
- Geneva ($348,550) – The city plans to construct a soccer complex at C.D. Chapman Memorial Park. The project will include adding a parking lot, restrooms, sidewalks and installation of fencing and lighting.
- Summerdale ($234,100) – The town will construct four lighted tennis courts and a parking area on a 2.5-acre city-owned site at the intersection of First and East Jefferson Streets.
Under the LWCF program eligible applicants may include municipalities, county governments, state agencies and state authorities created by the Legislature. The program can fund projects involving playfields, trails, parks, playgrounds, picnic and camping areas, including related amenities and land acquisition which will be dedicated for recreation use.
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