Helena receives grant for construction of new athletic field

By GRAHAM BROOKS / Staff Writer

MONTGOMERY–The city of Helena will be one of several cities across the state to receive a grant aimed at enhancing outdoor recreation opportunities in Alabama.

The office of Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey announced that $1.5 million in grants were awarded and made through the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund. This will enable 15 counties and municipalities to improve parks, playgrounds and sports fields. Projects range from installing new lighting and fixtures at existing parks to constructing new tennis courts, ball fields and splash pads.

The city of Helena was awarded a grant of $75,000 that will help construct a multipurpose athletic field at the Helena Sports Complex. Local funds of $75,000 will match the grant.

“I’m very pleased that the city of Helena has been awarded a state matching grant for $75,000 to use toward construction of the soccer/multi use field addition at the Helena Youth Sports Complex,” Helena Mayor Mark Hall said. “The project will now proceed as planned and with the help of this matching grant we will be able to fully fund the completion of the field. The entire project is estimated to cost over $150,000. Bill Miller, director of Helena Parks and Recreation will oversee and administer the field construction. I would like to thank Gov. Ivey and ADECA officials for their support and for assisting us with funding on this much needed project for the citizens of Helena.”

LWCF is a program of the National Park Service. Eligible applicants may include municipalities, county governments, state agencies and state authorities created by the Legislature.

“By enhancing the outdoor recreational opportunities in our communities, these projects will make Alabama an even better place to live and work for families,” Ivey said. “I am pleased to play a role in helping local leaders complete these improvements, and I encourage everyone to experience the great parks and recreational opportunities these areas have to offer.”

The LWCF program was created by Congress in 1965 to assist states with the development and preservation of outdoor recreational facilities. The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs manages the program in the state.

“Some of a family’s best memories are often formed by experiences at community parks, playgrounds and trails, and these projects will increase the opportunities for families to spend time together enjoying the outdoors,” ADECA Director Kenneth Boswell said. “With Gov. Ivey’s support, ADECA is pleased to partner with these communities and groups to expand recreational opportunities.”

The LWCF program can fund projects involving sports fields, trails, parks, playgrounds, picnic and camping areas, including related amenities and land acquisition which will be dedicated for recreation use. Grant recipients are required to provide at least a dollar for dollar match with the grant.