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County gets NatureWorks grants

LAWRENCE COUNTY — Out of 96 Ohio communities in 72 counties receiving NatureWorks grants from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Law-rence County received more than $63,000.

Fayette Township received $10,900; the Village of Chesapeake received $7,500; the Village of Proctorville received $7,500; and Ironton received $37,500.

Most of the money is to develop or improve playgrounds and picnic grounds.

“The village has to match 25 percent,” said Rick Dunfee, Village of Proctorville administrator. “What we’re going to do is put some trash containers and benches and a couple of grills, and I think some playground equipment added to it. It has to be approved through council and signed off by the mayor.”

They will probably get started in the spring, he said.

The Commons area in Burlington is going to have several improvements with a $10,900 grant.

“We’re going to be doing an addition to one of our existing shelters,” said Bernard Conwell, park chairperson of the Concerned Citizens of Burlington. “We’re going to add additional fencing. We want to add four benches along the riverfront and replace the basketball backboards.”

They also plan to purchase two grills and two game tables.

Since the grant monies must be used by December 2008, the improvements will be completed next summer, he said.

The Village of Chesapeake also will be developing its playground and Ironton’s money will be used for developing the stream bank for Riverfront Park.

“NatureWorks grants are excellent tools for making sure young Ohioans have greater access to the outdoors,” said Sean D. Logan, director of ODNR. “They are a key component of our larger campaign to strengthen the connections between nature, fitness and lifelong learning.”

ODNR received a total of 164 applications for this round of NatureWorks grants.