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VOL. 129 | NO. 153 | Thursday, August 07, 2014

Greenway Grants Program Seeks Applicants

By Don Wade

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Money is available. There just aren’t many people asking for it. “That has been a problem in the past,” said Alice Hudson, director of development for the Tennessee Parks and Greenways Foundation, also known as TennGreen. “So far this year, we’ve only received one application.”

A 16-year-old nonprofit, TennGreen is inviting West Tennessee organizations to apply for connections grants to complete or repair a greenway or trail project. The application deadline is Aug. 29, and the grants program is open to nonprofit organizations, community groups, “friends” groups, city or county government agencies, or state park/natural areas within West Tennessee.

“This doesn’t have to be part of a state park,” Hudson said. “It can be local.”

To date, the lone application has been for a state park – Fort Pillow in Henning. Hudson says park officials have requested money for chainsaws and weed-eaters as part of an effort to restore trails damaged by an ice storm, and for several canoes so they can conduct guided float tours on a regular basis.

Since 1999, TennGreen has awarded nearly 200 grants totaling more than $321,000. Projects such as the Wolf River Rail-Trail Bridge in Memphis and the Island Loop Trail Bridge at Pickwick Landing State Park were aided by the grants program.

“We don’t have a large amount of money to give away, but we do have $10,000,” Hudson said.

The $10,000 was provided by Estie and John Sheahan. Grants range from $500 to $2,500 and must be matched.

Other required criteria that applicants must demonstrate: the importance of the project in furthering a greenway or trail from a community to its nearby state park, natural area or other public land in Tennessee; the importance of enhancing an existing area; evidence of community support for the project; the extent to which the grant will lead to other private or public funding; and the likelihood of tangible results.

For more information or to apply for a grant, contact Alice Hudson, director of development for the Tennessee Parks and Greenway Foundation, at 615-329-4441.

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