Trust fund authority awards $3.9 million for local parks projects

RALEIGH – The N.C. Parks and Recreation Trust Fund Authority awarded $3.9 million for local parks and recreation projects at its meeting Friday in the Nature Research Center. Local governments submitted 67 applications requesting $12.6 million.

The authority also allocated $1.5 million to purchase properties for addition to Lake James, Raven Rock, Pettigrew and Grandfather Mountain state parks.

Mike Murphy, director of the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation, gives an update on division news to authority members and guests.
Mike Murphy, director of the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation, gives an update on division news to authority members and guests.

The Parks and Recreation Trust Fund provides dollar-for-dollar matching grants to local governments for parks and recreation projects to serve the public. The trust fund is also the primary source of funding to build and renovate facilities in the state parks and to buy land for new and existing parks.

At the meeting, Division Director Mike Murphy provided a summary of the recently completed session of the General Assembly and provided updates on recent activities and events in the division, the agency’s move to the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources and the upcoming bond referendum, which includes $75 million for state parks.

“The goal of the transfer is to synergistically maximize the investment in state attractions, which includes the state parks, state museums, state historic sites and arts agencies,” Murphy said. “We expect a few bumps and challenges, but the concept is sound and we are excited about being part of a new department in which all of North Carolina’s treasures are under one roof.”

Murphy also provided details about the breakdown of the $75 million identified for state parks in the Connect NC Bond Act of 2015, which will be put before voters March 15, 2016.

The Connect NC projects for state parks identified in the package include:

  • $20.9 million for new/improved visitor centers and community buildings in 11 parks;
  • $18.8 million for new/expanded campgrounds and cabins in 12 parks;
  • $21.3 million for parkwide and day-use improvements in 12 parks, and
  • $14.1 million for land acquisition in 10 parks.

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