By Emily Gallagher
Times West Virginian
Organizations in need of funding for recreational purposes: The Marion County Parks and Recreation Commission (MCPARC) can help.
Tony Michalski, director of MCPARC, said it is currently taking applications for the community grants program. The program provides technical and financial assistance to municipalities and community groups for the planning, acquisition, development and rehabilitation of public park and recreation facilities.
Michalski said any nonprofit agency in Marion County that works with recreational facilities or youth sports is eligible to apply for a grant. Playground equipment has been a popular item over the years that these grants have provided.
“We’ve furnished a lot of parks around the county,” Michalski said. “We do a lot of upgrades to baseball and football fields. Almost every field in the county, we have helped out in some way.”
MCPARC has 11 parks throughout the county and the rest are managed by municipalities.
Last year, the program allocated about $42,000. Michalski said this year it is budgeted for $45,000.
“This is our opportunity to give back to those municipal and city parks, and those youth sports groups,” he said.
Michalski said these grants range from $500-$5,000 and give priority to grants that immediately improve recreational opportunities.
“We’re looking at projects that will be completed by the end of the 2014 calendar year,” he said.
MCPARC has been providing these grants to the community since 1989. Michalski said they have allocated more than $670,000 throughout Marion County to agencies for park upgrades.
“This is the 25th year for the program,” he said.
Michalski said it is required that the community contribute a 50-percent match either with cash, volunteer labor or donated or purchased materials. Any Marion County community is eligible, including recreation boards or commissions, community service agencies and other nonprofit groups and schools.
Michalski said the community grants program is one of his favorite programs with MCPARC.
“I can ride around the county and see all these parks they we’ve helped out,” he said. “We see kids playing in them and we can see the results from this program all across the county, so it’s one that we really enjoy and we encourage people to apply for.
To fill out an application, call the MCPARC office at 304-363-7037, download the 2014 application at www.mcparc.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications should be sent to MCPARC, P.O. Box 1258, Fairmont, WV 26555.
Applications must be received by 4 p.m. Wednesday, March 12. Recipients of the grants will be announced after the March 17 MCPARC board meeting.
Email Emily Gallagher at email@example.com or follow her on Twitter @EGallagherTWV.