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TN – Tenn. awards more than $17 million for local parks and recreation

Rocky Fork Creek, which flows through the heart of Rock Forks State Park, received a $167,000 Recreational Trails Program Grant. (AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS / KNOXVILLE NEWS SENTINEL)

Rocky Fork Creek, which flows through the heart of Rock Forks State Park, received a $167,000 Recreational Trails Program Grant. (AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS / KNOXVILLE NEWS SENTINEL)

By News Sentinel Staff

Parks and recreation facilities across Tennessee will benefit from a series of grants totaling more than $17 million, state officials announced.

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation will award $15.8 million in local park and recreation grants to 55 communities, as well as $1.9 million in Recreation Trails Program grants for a total of 12 parks and communities across Tennessee.

The Local Parks and Recreation Fund grant program was established by the Tennessee General Assembly in 1991 to provide local funding to purchase park lands, trails and recreational facilities. The grants are competitive and require a 50 percent match by the recipients.

The Recreational Trails Program is a federally funded program that addresses recreation trail projects. Funding is provided by the Federal Highway Administration through the Fixing Americans Surface Transportation Act of 2015. The maximum federal share for each project is 80 percent, with the grant providing a 20 percent match. Grant recipients are selected through a scoring process that ranks the greatest local recreation need.

Recent recipients of the Local Park and Recreation Grants include:

The town of Farragut — $500,000 to renovate an athletic field, restrooms and parking.

Knox County — $500,000 for a picnic shelter, dog park, playground, restrooms, parking area and new trail access at I.C. King Park.

Town of Pittman Center — $43,000 for City Hall pavilion and restroom

Anderson/Morgan/Roane counties — $100,000 for Carmichael ball field development.

Recipients of Trails Programs grants include:

Norris Dam State Park — $84,000 to purchase trail cutting equipment to develop three trails that will link existing trails to the campground.

City of Alcoa — $111,000 to construct a restroom facility on the Alcoa Greenway Trail.

City of Sevierville — $200,000 to extend existing greenway from the West Prong of the Little Pigeon River to the Gatlinburg Highway Bridge.

Rocky Fork State Park — $167,000 to purchase prefabricated coated aluminum bridge and associated hardware to transport materials to site and assist with assembly. Purchase of trail construction and maintenance equipment at the ingress and egress of proposed bridge, and for search and rescue response to visitors on the trail.

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