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Edgerton receives NatureWorks Grant for parks

This article is brought to you by The Bryan Times

By Lucas Bechtol

Nov 14, 2022

The Village of Edgerton is revamping Gerhart Park with the installation of new playground equipment, pictured, and the addition of Americans with Disabilities Act compliant picnic tables. The village recently received a grant from NatureWorks to help with the latter.

Courtesy Photo

Edgerton is getting a little help from the state for their Gerhart Park project.

On Monday, Gov. Mike DeWine and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Director Mary Mertz announced $1.7 million in NatureWorks grants throughout the state.

“We are excited to help communities all over Ohio create fun, safe, and inclusive outdoor recreation opportunities,” DeWine said in a release. “These grants help local parks improve and upgrade their outdoor spaces for citizens of Ohio.”

The grants will support 68 outdoor recreation projects in 62 counties.

Edgerton has one of those projects, receiving $10,520 for a project at Gerhart Park.“We recently completed ... a new playground project at Gerhart,” said Village Administrator Dawn Fitzcharles. “This (grant) will be for picnic tables and ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) seating around the park and playground.”

The total cost for the project is estimated at $36,266.

Village officials have applied for grants for all but $8,000. So far, the village has received a total of $13,020 in grant funding, counting the NatureWorks grant.

“If we secure additional funding, we will probably put in additional ADA picnic tables and benches,” Fitzcharles said. “We have made applications for six benches and six tables.”

They’ve already ordered four benches, having found them on sale, she said. The NatureWorks grant will allow them to order four to six benches and some tables.

Some of the benches could be in as early as the end of the year with the first $2,500 grant they received. The items purchased with this grant will probably come in and be installed in the first quarter of next year.

The Gerhart Park is located by the water treatment plant and has traditionally only had three baseball diamonds, Fitzcharles said.

“This year, being able to put the playground equipment over there will help service the east side of Edgerton where they don’t have a public playground,” she said. “We’re going to do this seating project in conjunction with a parking project, so it should be really nice and a really good update for those folks.”

In a followup email, Fitzcharles said the village installed the playground at the park in October of this year with the goal to “bring community together, foster creative and social bonding and create stronger relationships between citizens and local government.”A followup Gerhart Park Improvement Project, is a two-part proposal that will include the installation of a meeting place, strengthen the sports activities that occur there and provide a community stage for citizens and visitors to enjoy the outdoors.

“Providing safe and adequately equipped activities create the perfect setting for attendees to maintain an active lifestyle and realize the benefits of overall health and happiness,” Fitzcharles said in the email. “A rejuvenated and vibrant park will stabilize local economy and make our community a more attractive place to live and work.”

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