ECGRA Grants Revitalize Area Parks
The Erie County Gaming Revenue Authority (ECGRA) Parks, Fields & Trails Grant Program awarded a total of $149,839.60 in grants among ten local parks, fields, and trails organizations across Erie County.
Executive Director of ECGRA, Perry Wood, said parks are a gathering place that promote wellness, and keep a community healthy and beautiful.
The grants support multiple phases of development in various areas. The most basic level funded is project research, like the $20,000 awarded to The Bayfront Eastside Taskforce's project of three forts of Presque Isle and an interpretive center. The next level deals with maintenance and expansion on some of their more iconic projects, such as LEAF's 2020 Pathways Project, awarded $14,712.37. Other awards go toward brand-new projects like the Erie Humane Society's Bark Park and Wagging Trails project, receiving $15,000.
"To fund all three of those is important for a thriving community," Wood said.
During the selection process, the committee also looked at geographical location and made sure that the projects were spread out to give each part of the county an equal opportunity.
Other projects included Asbury Woods' Meadow Trail Restoration ($14,918.23), the Borough of Edinboro's Thompson Park Renewal ($25,000), Headwaters NRC Trust's Headwater Park Nature Play Area ($25,000), Lake Erie Region Conservancy's West Road Access Area Trail Improvement ($12,459), Platea Borough's Park Improvement Project ($2,500), Springfield Township's Bicentennial Park Improvements ($3,750), and Washington Township's Inspiration Park Trail Project ($16,500).
Each project is chosen based on its ability to resolve some sort of economic development and focuses on the social, educational, cultural, health, and recreational benefits to the neighborhoods of Erie County.
"Our goal is to empower them," Wood commented. "We want to make Erie County the kind of place you want to work, play, and raise a family in." – Chloe Forbes