N.H. to get $435,478 in federal funding for parks, recreational areas
New Hampshire will receive $435,478 in federal funding this year that towns and the state can use to improve parks, expand recreational areas and conserve land.
The U.S. Department of the Interior this week announced it would release and distribute, across all 50 states, more than $43 million from the Land and Water Conservation Fund. New Hampshire’s portion of the money is a slight increase from what the state received last year, said Eric Feldbaum of the state Division of Parks and Recreation.
But the investment in New Hampshire will be roughly double that, Feldbaum said. The Land and Water Conservation Fund is a 50/50 matching grant program, meaning the groups that receive federal money for their project will invest the same amount themselves.
The parks and recreation division manages the funding and will begin a grant process this fall to distribute the money, Feldbaum said.
Eligible projects range from expanding the size of a city playground to installing boat access or acquiring thousands of acres for conservation.
In the past, money has been used to help pay for improvement projects in Concord at places such as Memorial Field, Bicentennial Square and Beaver Meadow Golf Course.
The money has helped finance 650 projects in New Hampshire since its inception in 1965, he said. The LWCF is a U.S. Treasury account funded by money from oil exploration leases.
“The idea was to really give back to recreation value within the land,” Feldbaum said.
Funding for the grant program is up for reauthorization in 2015.
(Allie Morris can be reached at 369-3307 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.)