Roanoke County Parks and Rec seeking public's input for park improvements

Roanoke County is accepting applications for a grant program to improve parks

ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. – Roanoke County Parks, Recreation and Tourism is reaching out. The department is making $25,000 in matching funds available to park improvement projects, thanks to a Capital Improvement Incentive Fund.

“It’s a great way for us to be able to partner with groups that maybe have a particular concept of what they would like to see in a park like additional playground equipment or some type of shelter that maybe we haven't been able to put in as part of our capital budget,” said director Doug Blount.

Grants can range from a couple hundred dollars to $5,000 and any community group, nonprofit, or concerned citizen can apply. In the past 20 years of the CIIF program, projects have ranged from lighting improvements to seating additions and most recently repairs to athletic fields.

“We certainly want to make sure that we have lots of improvements on the athletic side but we also want to provide additional ADA access, provide shade, some of the other comforts that help to provide a very positive recreation experience when you're in our park system,” said Blount.

A panel will decide which projects get the support. While there are a lot of deciding factors, it really comes down to which project benefits the community the most. 

“The main aspect that we want to make sure is that our citizens are able to fully utilize whatever the amenity is, so if it's something that's not open to the general public on a regular basis, it's probably going to be evaluated much less than something that is available to the public,” said Blount.

Parks and Recreation staff say so far, the grant program has been a major success. And with each application, they hope to grant one more wish and give one more park a helping hand. 

Applications for a park improvement project must be turned in by Friday, June 23 at 5 p.m.

To learn more about the application process, or to apply, click here.