John Chavis Memorial Park is in for some serious upgrades.
The Department of the Interior announced on Wednesday $747,600 that will go to North Carolina for improvements at Central Plaza at John Chavis Memorial Park in Raleigh.
The Central Plaza revitalization project for the park includes a water play area, seasonal ice rink, stage area and concrete amphitheater seating.
“Every kid deserves the opportunity to get outside and play. Whether it's downtown Raleigh or rural Wyoming, investing in public lands is an investment in communities,” said Ryan Zinke, U.S. secretary of the interior.
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“The Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership program is an innovative public-private partnership which revitalizes communities through improving infrastructure, creating jobs and enhancing neighborhoods. It connects people to the great outdoors by encouraging and enabling a variety of recreational opportunities in underserved communities,” Zinke said, announcing the grant.
The money is part of a $13.3 million pool awarded to 22 cities in 17 states. The Chavis Park project in Raleigh is the only project in North Carolina to receive funding.
The Department of the Interior and National Park Service awarded the money through the Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership program. The money is used to plan, build and enhance parks and other outdoor recreation facilities in underserved communities, according to the department.
The $13.3 million in federal funding nationwide joins another $21.2 million from local governments, private firms and nonprofit organizations to help improve accessibility of playgrounds, create canoe and kayak launches and fishing piers, restore vacant industrial land for park uses and make other investments in parks across the country.
Chavis Park, 505 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., is 28.87 acres and was established in 1937. It’s home to the historic Allan Herschell Carousel.
The ORLP is funded through the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which, for more than 50 years, has invested revenue from federal offshore oil and gas royalties into more than 40,000 outdoor recreation facilities and conservation projects in all 50 states, according to the department.
Congress created the program in 2014. The National Park Service administers the program and works to identify and highlight new ways of expanding outdoor play in areas in need. The program also promotes development of new or better partnerships for outdoor recreation in urban communities across the United States.
The grants must be matched at a minimum 1:1 ratio, at least doubling the impact of the federal investment in the communities that receive grants.
For more information, go to www.nps.gov/subjects/lwcf/index.htm.