By Jessica Borders
Times West Virginian
The Marion County Parks and Recreation Commission’s Community Grant Program is continuing to help local communities improve recreation in the county.
During the past 25 years, MCPARC has given about $600,000 back to the community through this annual program, said director Tony Michalski. This year, the organization will award $40,000 worth of grants, ranging from $500 to $5,000 per project.
The grants are designated for anything that would improve recreational opportunities in the county, such as baseball field and basketball court updates or the addition of playground equipment, he said. MCPARC is looking for projects that can be completed within a calendar year.
Any schools, community organizations, nonprofits or other groups are eligible to apply, Michalski said. Applicants are not required to have a 501(c)(3) status.
He said MCPARC maintains 11 parks and two Rails to Trails, but doesn’t handle every park in the outlying communities. The Community Grant Program allows MCPARC to assist the facilities that it doesn’t own and operate.
“It’s really our opportunity to help out those little parks and communities that we can’t usually help out,” Michalski said.
The money for the grants comes from MCPARC’s operating account and stems from the general levy that is passed every five years, he said.
While the recipient of the grant must match the funding by at least 50 percent, it’s not necessarily an out-of-pocket expense for the group.