Turning a vacant lot into a waterfront park and installing lights at John Gable Park athletic fields are two Hoquiam projects among 10 in Grays Harbor and Pacific counties that will benefit from funding by the State Recreation and Conservation Funding Board announced July 2.
Funding in the amount of $1,890,500 will benefit projects in Grays Harbor County; another $1.8 million-plus will go toward Pacific County projects. More than $126 million in grants will go toward 333 projects statewide, according to State Recreation and Conservation Office spokeswoman Susan Zemek.
“The funding creates more places to play, expands habitat for fish and other wildlife, supports clean air and water, and upholds healthy communities across Washington state and improves our quality of life,” said Kaleen Cottingham, director at the Recreation and Conservation Office, which administers the grants.
Grays Harbor projects
Building the Adams Street waterfront park: The City of Hoquiam got a $156,500 grant from the state to renovate a vacant dirt parking area along the Chehalis River and add a picnic shelter, interpretive signs, a paved parking lot, small-craft launch and waterside pathways with viewing areas. The city will kick in matching funds of $156,500 for the project, according to the Recreation and Conservation Office. The grant was funded by the Aquatic Lands Enhancement Program.
Lighting the Gable Park Athletic Field: Hoquiam was granted $64,000 to install new ball field lighting at the play fields, which will allow for evening soccer, softball and T-ball games. City staff will install LED lights on eight poles, lighting two fields. The city will contribute $16,000 to the project. This grant is from the Youth Athletic Facilities program.
Conserving Grayland property: The Department of Fish and Wildlife will use a $1.5 million grant to buy about 1,408 acres near the Elk River Natural Resources Conservation Area, Twin Harbors State Park and John’s River Wildliife Area. The land includes more than 1,000 acres of wetlands, forests, and grasslands and supports habitat for a multitude of species. This grant is from the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program.
Damon Point restoration: The Department of Natural Resources will use a $170,000 grant to complete a second phase of restoration at Damon Point, a sand spit peninsula that runs from south of Ocean Shores for several miles. The goal is to restore high quality coastal dune habitat for rare and endangered bird species and a diversity of other species that use the site. The department will designate trails for the public that avoid key habitats and install signs with educational information to prevent intrusion into sensitive areas. The department will contribute $28,000 in a state appropriation and donations of labor. This grant is from the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program.
Pacific County projects
Installing lighting at a Cheney Park Field: The City of South Bend will use a $270,000 grant to install lights at the newly renovated synthetic turf Cheney Field in South Bend. When completed, this will be the only field with synthetic turf and lights in Pacific County. South Bend will contribute $60,000 in donations of cash and labor. This grant is from the Youth Athletic Facilities program.
Buying Nemah tidelands in Willapa Bay: The Department of Fish and Wildlife will use a $1 million grant to buy 103 acres, including a mile of undeveloped shoreline, on Willapa Bay 20 miles south of Raymond. The site offers recreational harvest of oysters and clams, wildlife viewing, kayaking, waterfowl hunting, and access to the shoreline. This grant is from the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program.
Renovating Culbertson Park: The City of Long Beach will use a $75,000 grant to renovate Culbertson Park to make it more usable by people with disabilities. Work will include resurfacing the basketball and tennis courts, creating pickle ball courts, installing new dugouts, and upgrading pathways. Long Beach will contribute $47,500 in cash and donations of labor. This grant is from the Youth Athletic Facilities program.
Planning Port of Chinook Marina improvements: The Port of Chinook Marina will use a $112,500 grant to develop its recreational boating plan. The plan could include boat ramps, boarding floats, guest moorage, parking, and restrooms and would address launching and parking to speed up launching at peak times. The Port of Chinook will contribute $37,500 in a local grant. This grant is from the Boating Facilities Program.
Port of Chinook boat ramp pay station: The Port of Chinook Marina will use a $29,775 grant to install an automated pay station at the boat launch and support features for the station, such as electrical service, trenching, and a kiosk protected from the weather. The Port of Chinook will contribute $9,925 in donations of cash. This grant is from the Boating Facilities Program.
Renovating the Port of Ilwaco boat launch area: The Port of llwaco will use a $331,350 grant to renovate the area around the boat launch. The Port will install a restroom, landscape, repave and stripe the parking lot, and add an automated pay station, kiosk, and signs. The Port of Ilwaco will contribute $110,450 in donations of cash. This grant is from the Boating Facilities Program.
The grants were awarded through seven different grant programs. Revenue comes from a mix of federal grants, the sale of state bonds, gas taxes and user fees.