Tacoma's Franklin Park vies for $500K grant

Franklin Park is in line for $500,000 in Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program grant funding to provide an array of upgrades to the 20-acre community park, according to a statement released today. The central focus of the park will be an inter-active sprayground to replace a 58-year-old wading pool, surrounding plaza, and picnic shelter to support community gatherings and the district’s annual Summer Playground Program.

“At a time when households are scaling back on vacation, recreation and entertainment budgets, our spraygrounds have been an incredibly popular destination for families,” Park Board Commissioner Tim Reid said.  ”Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program funding will help us place one of these valued resources in a strategic central location, within walking distance of underserved families, providing easy access for residents throughout the community.”

The state Recreation and Conservation Office in October formally approved the final rankings for projects across the state, including several in Pierce County. The go-ahead to proceed with the projects is contingent upon the Legislature approving the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition’s request for funding.

To view Pierce County projects and learn more about them, visit the Coalition’s project Web page at http://www.WildlifeRecreation.org/wwrp-projects/counties/Pierce_county .

Each year, hundreds of applicants – from local grassroots organizations to government entities – submit applications for grant funding from the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program. Since 1990, the Program has provided more than $615 million for more than 1,000 neighborhood and state parks, ball fields, trails, beaches, farms and wildlife habitat areas. By requiring that local project applicants provide matching funds, Program grants leverage funding from cities, counties and park districts, as well as private and philanthropic funding sources. 

This year, cities, counties, and state lands departments requested $192 million in grants to fund almost 280 projects across the state. The Recreation and Conservation Office, which administers the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program’s grant program, competitively ranked the projects to ensure only the best are funded. Projects that rank the highest will receive funding in 2011 if the Legislature and Governor approve the Coalition’s budget request.

If the Legislature approves the Coalition’s 2011-13 capital budget request, 124 projects across the state will be funded in order of rank. If the Legislature approves less than the Coalition requests, projects will cut from the bottom, with funding provided only to those projects the Program can afford.