Thursday May 07, 2020

Rethinking public spaces in Cabarrus

The Cabarrus County Active Living and Parks Commission is currently accepting applications for local matching incentive grant projects.

The incentive grant program encourages non-profit groups to provide more adequate recreation facilities in their local communities. The grants provide up to 50 percent of the actual project cost, based on the amount approved by the commission. The deadline to apply is 5 p.m. on Friday, June 12.

Examples of groups that can apply for funds are parent-teacher organizations, civic clubs, athletic or recreation associations and boosters clubs.

The grants have helped secure funding for projects that include creation or renovation of nature and fitness trails, playgrounds, disc golf courses, picnic shelters, press boxes, concession stands, ballfields, basketball/tennis/volleyball courts and gardens.

In the time since COVID-19 stay-at-home orders began, families have spent time close to home and in public park spaces. Cabarrus County Active Living and Parks officials believe that the community will have new ideas on ways to utilize spaces previously overlooked, and hope the grants help bring those ideas forward.

“People are taking time to experience the world around them,” said Active Living and Parks Assistant Director Byron Haigler. “They may have new ideas for spaces and we want to see those ideas. What can we do to keep you connected with nature? What can we do to meet your community’s needs? No idea will be overlooked—bring them to the table.”

The location of the improvement must be on property owned by Cabarrus County, Cabarrus or Kannapolis boards of education, a municipality within the County or property leased to the County for a minimum of 15 years. Projects on school property must be consistent with the respective school system’s long-range plans. Projects on park property must be consistent with the department’s long-range plans. The property on which the project is located must remain unlocked and open to the public.

The Active Living and Parks Commission will entertain application presentations at its June 18 meeting. The Commission will submit their recommendations to the Cabarrus County Board of Commissioners, which will award grants for the 2021 fiscal year.

For more information or to receive an application, call 704-920-3360 or visit the Matching Incentive Grants page.

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