07-14-20 | Association News

Building Better Communities Grant Recipients Announced

$500,000 For Water-Inspired Play Areas

The Building Better Communities initiative has awarded a total of $2.3 million in grants to communities since 2014.

As part of the 2020 Building Better Communities grant program, the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) and the American Water Charitable Foundation (AWCF), has announced the recipients of this year's grants.
The cities of Franklin, Indiana, and Lawson, Missouri, will be awarded a total of $500,000 for community-focused, water-inspired play areas.

The grant program, which is funded by AWCF and administered by NRPA, is part of the Building Better Communities initiative, meant to help communities create or enhance public park spaces or programs that encourage the community to engage in water and nature-inspired play, connect to the natural world and focus on environmental education and water-based recreation.

"We are pleased to partner with the cities of Franklin and Lawson to provide these outdoor spaces so children and families can learn, interact and appreciate water, a critical natural resource, in a fun and engaging way," said Carrie Williams, president, AWCF. "Through our work, we have found splash pads are a wonderful way to ensure water access for all, while supporting our conservation focus and engaging community members in environmental education. These projects will allow families to enjoy the wonders of water, while also learning the valuable role we all play in protecting our environment."

The city of Franklin will use the $250,000 grant to create the Amphitheater Splashpad at the city's newest downtown park.

With the $250,000 grant, the city of Lawson will create a splash pad water play experience in the heart of downtown, accessible to all members of the community.

Both projects will be the cities' first free water play amenities and will be designed to accommodate those with mobility issues and other disabilities. Educational opportunities on water stewardship and conservation will also be available to each city's community within the splash pads.

"We are proud to support the essential work of park and recreation professionals in Lawson and Franklin to provide their communities with equitable water-based education and inclusive play opportunities," said Kellie May, NRPA vice president, programs and partnerships. "The American Water Charitable Foundation has been an exceptional partner in this work and their continued commitment to local parks and recreation has provided over 800,000 people across eighteen communities with access to nature and water inspired parks."


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