GATE CITY — The Scott County Department of Parks and Recreation was recently awarded a $75,000 grant to make improvements to parks in both Gate City and Duffield.
The Land and Water Conservation Fund grant, which is administered by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, is a grant-in-aid program that facilitates the acquisition and development of public outdoor recreation areas and facilities.
The funds are provided to encourage localities to recognize the importance of outdoor public recreation, Scott County Parks and Recreation Director Skip Sheets said.
Sheets said the grant funds will allow work to be done simultaneously at the Duffield Community Park and the Scott County Park and Golf Course in Gate City.
“These improvements will provide modernized facilities to a wide variety of citizens in Scott County and the surrounding communities,” Sheets said. “Three lifetime activities are being enhanced — tennis, golf, and walking and the benefits provided by these improvements will positively impact the well being and enhance the quality of life of Scott County’s citizens.
“Scott County, by its nature, thrives on outdoor recreation.”
Sheets said a portion of the funds would be used in Duffield to resurface three tennis courts, make improvements to the park’s walking trail and build a picnic shelter. The proposed work for the park and golf course includes paving and sealing of its parking lot and cart paths.
Work is expected to begin next summer, Sheets said.
In order to receive the grant funds, Sheets said Scott County must provide a 50 percent match through the use of in-kind labor and equipment.
“The in-kind match is helpful because it ensures Scott County taxpayers don’t have to pay any money on it,” Sheets said.
The latest grant is the third the Scott County Department of Parks and Recreation has been awarded in recent years through DCR’s Land and Water Conservation Fund program. Those funds total approximately $230,000 over the last several years, Sheets said.
Without those funds, Sheets said the various improvements Scott County’s parks have received in recent years would not have been possible.
“Due to budgetary constraints on local government budgets, it wouldn’t have been feasible to do these improvements without the grant funding and assistance from DCR,” Sheets said.
In addition to assisting work that might not otherwise get done, Sheets said the use of the conservation funds also guarantees that the properties in question will be open to the public in perpetuity.