Improving communities through DCP


By Deb Fall

Darke Co. Parks

Every March the Community Parks Improvement Grant program invitation letter is sent to village officials and the city of Greenville officials from the Darke County Park District. This grant program has been sponsored by the Darke County Park District since 1995.

Village and city officials are invited to meet at the Darke County Nature Center to receive an application and review the program instructions with the county park’s director. This reimbursable grant focuses on safety, health and wellness. Past awarded grants were for projects such as trail lighting, playground equipment, picnic tables, new roofing on shelters and dugouts, diving boards and the list goes on and on after 25 plus years of grant awards.

All summer is given to the grantees to complete their park projects and turn in their documentation proving expenditures covered by the grant award. We also request photos of the project before and after along with a letter of completion signed by the appropriate village/city authority.

A requested group of past Park District Commissioners, and public officials of Darke County and interested Park District Volunteers review each grant application, visit the site of request and determine if the project meets all the grant award rules. We are very thankful to these and all park volunteers. We couldn’t do it with out them.

This year the Darke County Park District invested $75,000 in the Community Parks Improvement Grant Program for community parks. In the past 27 years the Darke County Park District has awarded over one million dollars in grant funds. This is your tax dollars at work to each corner of the county!

When you visit a community park, look for our sign that states “YOUR PARK LEVY DOLLARS AT WORK.” This sign means your village or city official has taken the opportunity to apply for a grant and work with their city council to improve your community space. What better way to improve your community by improving the parks?

One of the first reviews a family does before moving into a new community is to visit the parks. A park says so much about the care and fellowship that goes into a village or city, and also the people that reside there. I am proud to live in a county where the residents take pride in their community spaces. And I am most proud to be an advocate for the Community Parks Improvement Grant program and look forward to reconnecting with everyone year after year as they attend the spring grant information meeting at the Nature Center.

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