New Trails Grant Supplements Earlier Park Improvements
Published: Wednesday, July 1, 2020
A third major federal grant in as many years means Veterans Park will be seeing new improvements as part of an ongoing Park Master Plan. The City has received official notice of approval for its Phase 2 Trails Grant. This grant makes over $200k in matching funds available to the city for park trails, parking, benches, trash receptacles, picnic tables and more.
"As people make Newcastle their home, our focus is on continual improvement of parks and other amenities in Newcastle to build community connectivity and improve the quality of life for our residents," said Jeannette McNally, Economic Development Director.
Park trails will be 10-feet wide asphalt with center striping to improve the flow for pedestrians and bicycle traffic. The trails will circle the older east side of the park and tie in to the newer west side of the park, circling the entire park, including a new 5-acre pond. The trails also tie into existing sidewalks near Newcastle Elementary School, enhancing safety and park access.
"When designing park improvements, our goal is to be inclusive for every resident in Newcastle, whether young or old, individuals or families," McNally continued. "I'm excited that these trails can improve school safety and tie into overall park amenities."
Other recent grants include the Phase 1 Trails Grant, LWCF Grant, Apache Corporation Tree Grant, and a TSET Healthy Incentive Grant.
These grants provided funds and materials for the new splashpad, basketball court lights and backboards, an inclusive playground swing, playground improvements, native trees, and new soccer goals at Pinecrest Park.
"I'm thrilled to see Newcastle growing but staying focused on community improvement", explained Cindy Frizzell, Former Council Member and Newcastle Parks Board Chair. "Our growth can be a positive thing that helps fund improvements just like our new splashpad in Veterans Park, as well as giving everyone a place to gather and enjoy Newcastle together."
Improvements to the park are guided by community surveys and expert guidance. The City is currently working with Howard-Fairbarn Site Design, a Norman architectural firm, to develop a long-term community-wide park plan to help the city grow in a smarter way, where improvements happen on a regular and reliable basis.
The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) Recreational Trails Program (RTP) provides funds to the States to develop and maintain recreational trails and trail-related facilities for both nonmotorized and motorized recreational trail uses. Each State administers its own program, usually through a State resource agency.