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County wins $265,000 grant for Ellis Park

Rowan County has won a state grant to renovate the accessible playground at Ellis Park.

The county’s $265,000 award was among 18 grants Gov. Roy Cooper announced Tuesday. In all,  the state is distributing $3 million in parks and recreation grants for projects designed for children and veterans with disabilities.

Rowan’s grant was one of the largest. The only bigger one was a $500,000 award to the city of Graham to create an accessible playground.

The $3 million is part of the $2 billion Connect NC Bond program approved by voters in 2016. The N.C. Parks and Recreation Trust Fund Authority selected the 18 grant recipients at its meeting March 3 at William B. Umstead State Park in Raleigh.

“These grants will provide much-needed support for our children and our courageous service men and women who face challenges far greater than most of us,” Cooper said in announcing the grants. “Providing accessible and convenient recreational facilities for all populations is a responsibility we all share.”

The matching grants will help fund development and renovation of public park and recreation areas for these special-needs populations. The authority considered 45 grant applications requesting nearly $9.5 million. The maximum grant for a single project under the program was $500,000. Grant winners are required to provide matching funds equal to a minimum of 25 percent of the grant.

“The financial support requested by these local governments is a strong indication of the tremendous need for providing facilities for those with disabilities,” said Mike Murphy, director of the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation. “The projects that did not receive funding from this program will be eligible for consideration for other grants from the Parks and Recreation Trust Fund.”

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