Duluth begins neighborhood park grants selection processThe city of Duluth announced that a committee has selected its first round of neighborhood Parks and Recreation grant recipients.
By: Duluth Budgeteer News, Duluth Budgeteer News
The city of Duluth announced that a committee has selected its first round of neighborhood Parks and Recreation grant recipients. Before the 10 grants totaling $50,000 can be doled out however, the Duluth City Council will need to sign off on the awards.
Mayor Don Ness said the money will go to help organizations working directly with the city’s youth.
“We asked them to provide leverage to help our limited city dollars go much further,” said Ness of the successful grant applicants.
Duluth launched its grant program in late April and received 22 proposals, according to Kathy Bergen, director of the city’s Parks and Recreation department.
“Our community responded in a resounding way,” Ness said. “People came up with a number of great ideas on a short timeline.”
Bergen said a selection committee attempted to distribute the grant funding with an eye to making sure it was spread fairly evenly across the city and would go to support a variety of recreational activities.
While no effort had been made to estimate how much of an additional investment the $50,000 in city funds would leverage, Bergen said community partners were prepared to provide additional monetary contributions and “probably thousands of hours of volunteer time.”
Jared Mann, who serves on the board of the Piedmont Hockey Association, said the $5,000 the organization expects to receive from the grant program will be put to good use.
”We’re going to redo our boards. They’re in pretty bad shape,” he said, noting that parents will supply the labor necessary to tackle the project.
Lindsay Smith, another member of the Piedmont Hockey Association Board, said fixing up the rink would have been tough if the neighborhood organization were left to its own devices.
“It would have been really tight, and we probably would have had to increase our fees,” she said. Smith anticipates that higher costs likely would have pushed some families out of the hockey program.
Tony Shoberg, president of the Duluth Cross-Country Ski Club, said a $5,000 grant his organization stands to receive should fund the purchase of trail-grooming equipment that can be pulled behind a snowmobile by volunteers, to keep ski trails in better condition next winter. Plans call for the equipment to be based at the Spirit Mountain cross-country trail network.
Particularly during years of scarce snowfall, Shoberg said, “We want to do everything we can to preserve and pack the snow.”
Other prospective grants announced include:
— $3,000 to Courage Center Duluth to help fund its adaptive sailing program for people with disabilities.
— $5,000 to assist the Duluth Heights Amateur Hockey Association as it reconstructs its dilapidated mite hockey rink.
— $5,000 to install a new 50-foot-long handicapped-accessible dock on Hartley Pond in Hartley Park.
— $5,000 to fund the Arrowhead Youth Soccer Association’s Grant Nettleton Soccer Program.
— $2,000 to help East Hillside PATCH offer a Summer Parks Sampler Program, enabling youth to experience and take part in activities at eight different parks throughout the city.
— $5,000 to help the Cyclists of Gitchee Gumee Shores upgrade bike trails and install signs.
— $2,200 to improve the Miller Creek and Lincoln Park disc golf courses, with the help of the Zenith City Flyers.
— $4,800 to the Boys & Girls Club of Duluth for outdoor programming in the Lincoln Park neighborhood.
A second similar round of neighborhood grants will be awarded in the fall, with grant applications likely due in September or October.