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HIGH SPRINGS – The City of High Springs has been working diligently to improve its parks and playground equipment for the past few years. Its efforts to obtain grants to help pay for those improvements are bearing fruit.

City grant writers have submitted grant requests to the Florida Recreation Development Assistance Program (FRDAP) to help bring playgrounds and playground equipment up to a higher, safer standard in High Springs.

An FRDAP grant in the amount of $150,000 has been awarded to the City, along with a 25 percent match by High Springs, to create a handicapped accessible playground at the Civic Center.

“Although anyone can use the playground,” said City Manager Ed Booth, “it will be designed as a state of the art facility to better accommodate anyone with physical limitations.”

This playground will extend the recreation area at the Civic Park when it is completed.

Three other FRDAP grants in the amount of $50,000 each have been awarded to the City to improve playground equipment at the Civic Center Recreation Center and Park located on U.S. Hwy. 441 between Northwest Second Street and Fourth Street; Catherine Taylor Park, located adjacent to Lee's Preschool on Southeast Douglas Street between Adams and Taylor Avenue; and Walter Howard Park, located on Northwest 13 Street and Second Ave.

The only remaining task to bring the first two parks up to standard is some rubber matting, said Booth.

Walter Howard Park improvements have not been started.

“We still need to go out for bid on that park,” said Booth.

The Land and Recreation Grants staff administers grants to local governments through the FRDAP and the Land and Water Conservation Fund. These are competitive, reimbursement grant programs which provide financial assistance for acquisition or development of land for public outdoor recreation. Eligible participants include all county governments, municipalities in Florida and other legally constituted local governmental entities, with the responsibility for providing outdoor recreational sites and facilities for the general public.

In addition to the FRDAP grants, the City was also recently awarded Suwannee River Water Management District grants to improve the city’s centralized sewer and water systems.

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