First Parks Fund Neighborhood
Mayor Don Ness announced today the organizations selected to receive the first Parks Fund Neighborhood Grants, pending City Council approval. The City made $50,000 available as part of the Parks Fund to support projects and initiatives which would enhance and improve city parks and recreation.
The Neighborhood Grant program is designed to provide direct support for community groups and organizations to add value in our City parks. The City is partnering with the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation which accepted and processed the applications. Proposals were reviewed by a committee with recommendations for funding presented to the Parks Commission then for final approval from the City Council.
Parks Fund Neighborhood Grant Projects must:
· Take place entirely or primarily on existing recognized units of Duluth’s parks, recreation, and trails system;
· Support the mission of Duluth’s Parks and Recreation Division to fulfill the essential recreational, educational, cultural, and environmental needs that create a dynamic community; and
· Encourage both financial and volunteer efforts.
Priority was given to projects that support one or more of the following key elements of the Parks and Recreation Master Plan:
· Improve the quality of existing parks (especially neighborhood parks),
· Focus on connecting the community through trails and bikeways,
· Have fewer, but higher quality recreation buildings,
· Enhance stewardship of natural resources,
· Expand partnerships with schools for community recreation and gathering, and
· Increase use and recognition of volunteers and volunteer groups.
The grant recipients are:
AGENCY: Courage Center Duluth- $3,000
PROJECT: Community Adaptive Sailing
Courage Center Duluth in partnership with Duluth Superior Sailing Association (DSSA) has provided adaptive sailing lessons for people with disabilities of all ages for 15 years. During the summer of 2011, low water levels in the Duluth Harbor made it impossible for them to conduct the program in its original format. The plan for 2012 will be to redesign a program to include a target population of teenagers with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in addition to some young adults and adults with traumatic brain injuries, cerebral palsy, stroke, spinal cord injuries and other neurological impairments.
AGENCY: Duluth Heights Amateur Hockey Association-$5,000
PROJECT: Rink Upgrade
The grant monies will be used to rebuild the Mite Hockey rink (60' X 90') at the Duluth Heights Community Club prior to November 2012. The small rink is in need of replacement/upgrade to keep the rink in a safe, playable condition. The Duluth Heights hockey families will provide the labor to install the new rink. The rink will be used for hockey practice, games, jamborees, and open community skating.
AGENCY: Hartley Nature Center-$5,000
PROJECT: Hartley Pond Dock Installation
Funding will be used to install a new handicap accessible 50’ dock on Hartley Pond in Hartley Park. Once installed, this new, longer dock will connect the thousands of annual visitors to Hartley Park to the water and better enable hundreds of school-age children to learn about streams and ponds. Lastly, the new dock will all but eliminate shoreline degradation near the dock and the corresponding silting of Tischer Creek and Lake Superior.
AGENCY: Arrowhead Youth Soccer Association-$5,000
PROJECT: Grant Nettleton Soccer Program
The Arrowhead Youth Soccer Association (AYSA), in partnership with the Grant Nettleton Collaborative, will work with the Imagination Station Summer Program to build healthy lifestyles in kids from that community by offering weekly soccer skills and scrimmage sessions at the Grant Recreation site. Expert soccer coaches from AYSA would lead volunteers in soccer skills activities and games. Coaches and volunteers would also implement the Champions Building Champions curriculum developed by Men as Peacemakers in order to work on values and character development during those sessions. They also hope to identify players that will continue with the sport and enroll in their summer leagues
AGENCY: East Hillside PATCH, Inc.-$2,000
PROJECT: Summer Parks Sampler
The project PATCH will implement is a new program called "Summer Parks Sampler". This summer PATCH will be able to take youth to a new park each week of their summer program; their summer program is 8 weeks in length, meaning that they would visit 8 new parks in the city of Duluth, beginning with Magney/Snively Park in the west and ending up at Brighton Beach in the east. Staff will create programming around visits to these new parks including nature scavenger hunts guided day (or part-day) hikes picnics and relay races.
AGENCY: Cyclists of Gitchee Gummee Shores-$3,000
PROJECT: Hartley Mountain Bike Trail System Signage and Sustainability Upgrades
The Cyclists of Gitchee Gummee Shores (COGGS) will be upgrading the existing Hartley mountain bike multiuse single track trail system by designing and hand building three sustainable reroutes around old unsustainable sections of trail as well as adding trail and wayfinding signage throughout the whole system. The old unsustainable sections of trail would be closed down and restored to a near natural state. This project would be completed with a mixture of volunteer and hired labor.
AGENCY: Piedmont Hockey Association-$5,000
PROJECT: Piedmont Rink Restoration
Piedmont Hockey Association has been a viable non-profit organization that has been around over forty years. The organization currently works out of the Piedmont Community Center. Over the years, due to weathering, ground heaving, and use, the arena rinks are in need of repair. This year the Piedmont Hockey Association is committed to restoring the warped uneven boards, fencing, hinges, and doors of the main arena.
AGENCY: Zenith City Flyers-$2,200
PROJECT: Duluth Disc Golf Park Improvement
The Zenith City Flyers was created to help foster disc golf in Duluth and the surrounding areas. Their goals are to:
Improve Miller Creek Disc Golf Course by putting in permanent tee boxes (cement), build more stairs for erosion control and do some tree wrapping to help protect the trees. They are also, in-conjunction with Duluth Parks and Recreation, going to do some replanting in key areas in the Park and along the creek.
Create signs for the Miller Creek Disc Golf Course. Aid with the installation of the Lincoln Park Disc Golf Course and use GIS and other aids to find a suitable location for a future 27 hole championship course.
AGENCY: Boys & Girls Club of Duluth-$4,800
PROJECT: Bringing Programming to Lincoln Park
The Boys and Girls Club at Lincoln Park will provide outdoor programming in Lincoln Park for the area youth. This programming will be in the areas of outdoor sports and science, particularly environmental science. The program would be open to all area youth, both their over 600 club members and non-club members of the community.
AGENCY: Duluth Cross-Country Ski Club-$5,000
PROJECT: Ski Trail Grooming Equipment
The Duluth Cross-Country Ski Club plans to purchase lightweight grooming equipment to be used by DXC volunteers on City of Duluth public ski trails. This piece of equipment will be available for all neighborhoods to provide and improve grooming surfaces for cross country skiers of all ages and abilities.
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