MADISON AND ST. CLAIR COUNTIES – The Metro East Park and Recreation District (MERPD) today announced that its Board has awarded $2 million in grant funding under the Park and Trail Grant Program to 16 projects across the Metro-East, each representing a new development or improvement to a public park, regional trail, or recreation facility within Madison or St. Clair County, IL.

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MEPRD’s Board of Directors approved the FY 2022 Park and Trail Grant Program earlier this summer with a total program budget of $2M, offering up to $100,000 in grant funding for eligible park projects and up to $300,000 for trail projects. In July 2021, MEPRD began accepting applications for regional trail development projects within its jurisdiction and park improvements located in statistically underserved communities. By mid-August, all but 3% remained of the $2M program allocation. All remaining grant funds were depleted soon after the program’s second grant round began on September 1st, at which point any eligible applicant with any eligible project type could apply.

The Metro East Park and Recreation District partners with municipalities, counties, park districts, 501(c)3 non-profit organizations, and others within its jurisdiction, supporting various projects that align with and advance its goals and mission. Following the awards approved under this latest grant cycle, MEPRD marks a major milestone to coincide with its 20th anniversary: surpassing 200+ projects funded (at least in part) by the district since its formation in November 2000. Accounting for all projects ongoing and completed, MEPRD has committed more than $34.2M in funding to date toward 216 unique projects, leveraging $4.60 in outside funding for every MEPRD dollar invested.

“The Park and Trail Grant Program—or at least some variation of it—has been at the core of MEPRD’s identify for the better part of this organization’s 20-year history, insomuch as it has historically served as the key catalyst for advancing our mission in bringing about a true regional system of high-quality, interconnected public parks and trails,” said MEPRD Grant Coordinator Cole Preston.

“The same can be said of this year’s program. From 4 ½ miles of new regional trail development to the addition of a new park and indoor rec facility, to accessibility improvements to existing parks, these 16 newly awarded projects are set to bring several exciting enhancements to some of your favorite trails and parks. And in a broader sense, these projects signify meaningful improvements to recreation, MEPRD Press Release, 2021-09-21 Page 2 of 4 transportation, and overall quality of life for all who live, work, or stay in these two counties,” noted Preston.

All FY22 Park and Trail Grant recipients are listed below, along with each corresponding project title, project type, and grant award. Among the 16 projects awarded an FY22 Park and Trail Grant, 6 are classified as regional trail developments and 10 are park improvements; 7 are located in Madison County and 9 in St. Clair County. For additional information including detailed project scopes, visit the interactive table of projects and map of projects at www.meprd.org/projects.

FY 2022 Park and Trail Grant Recipients:

Project Sponsor: Belleville, City of
Project Title: East End Park Improvements
Project Type: Park Improvement MEPRD Grant: $29,000.00

Project Sponsor: Cahokia Heights, City of
Project Title: Cahokia Park Splash Pad Facility Improvements
Project Type: Park Improvement MEPRD Grant: $43,500.00

Project Sponsor: Edwardsville, City of
Project Title: IL-159 Trail
Project Type: Trail Development MEPRD Grant: $237,590.00

Project Sponsor: Godfrey, Village of Project Title: Fred E. Widman Trail, Phase 3
Project Type: Trail Development MEPRD Grant: $300,000.00

Project Sponsor: Mascoutah, City of
Project Title: L&N Railway Trail & Trailhead
Project Type: Trail Development MEPRD Grant: $64,415.00

Project Sponsor: Madison County Transit District (MCT) Project Title: MCT Schoolhouse Trail, Tunnel Under IL-157
Project Type: Trail Development MEPRD Grant: $300,000.00

Project Sponsor: Millstadt, Village of Project Title: Field Lighting – Tuffy Field
Project Type: Park Improvement MEPRD Grant: $44,374.24

Project Sponsor: O’Fallon, City of
Project Title: Ogles Creek Trail
Project Type: Trail Development MEPRD Grant: $300,000.00 MEPRD Press Release, 2021-09-21 Page 3 of 4

Project Sponsor: St. Clair County Transit District (SCCTD) Project Title: Old Collinsville Road Trail, Phase 4
Project Type: Trail Development MEPRD Grant: $300,000.00

Project Sponsor: St. Clair Township Project Title: Centennial Park Kid’s Area
Project Type: Park Improvement MEPRD Grant: $29,815.60

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Project Sponsor: St. Jacob Park District Project Title: Half-Mile Loop Project
Project Type: Park Improvement MEPRD Grant: $21,026.36

Project Sponsor: Sugarloaf Township Project Title: Sugarloaf Township Park North
Project Type: Park Development MEPRD Grant: $27,024.00

Project Sponsor: Swansea, Village of Project Title: Schranz Memorial Park Improvements
Project Type: Park Improvement MEPRD Grant: $69,390.00

Project Sponsor: Wood River Township Project Title: Kutter Park Pickleball Courts
Project Type: Park Improvement MEPRD Grant: $33,864.80

Project Sponsor: Wood River, City of
Project Title: Emerick Sports Complex – Baseball Field Renovation
Project Type: Park Improvement MEPRD Grant: $100,000.00

Project Sponsor: Worden, Village of Project Title: Worden Recreation Center
Project Type: Park Improvement MEPRD Grant: $100,000.00

MERPD also continues to see growing interest in its community planning grant, a separate funding opportunity first introduced in early 2020. The FY 2022 Community Planning Grant Program is available to public agencies in Madison and St. Clair Counties, IL for the development or modernization of a community-wide master plan for parks or bicycle-pedestrian infrastructure. The grant can fund up to 40% of project costs, up to a maximum award of $40,000.

MEPRD’s Board of Directors, in August, approved a planning grant application submitted by the City of Edwardsville, making it the sixth municipality to take advantage of the program and marking yet another step forward for the regional park district as it strives to encourage all communities within its jurisdiction to plan for the future by creating, adopting, and maintaining a park and bike-ped plan.

Applications for the FY 2022 Community Planning Grant are being accepted by MEPRD on an ongoing basis now through May 31, 2022, or until funding is depleted, whichever occurs first. Prospective applicants can learn more about the Community Planning Grant Program, download the application, and check available funding by visiting www.meprd.org/planning-grant.

FY 2020 – 2022 Community Planning Grant Recipients:

Project Sponsor: Edwardsville, City of
Project Title: Bicycle & Pedestrian Facilities Plan (ongoing)
Project Type: Bicycle-Pedestrian Master Plan MEPRD Grant: $24,964.00

Project Sponsor: Godfrey, Village of Project Title: Vision 2020-2030 Parks and Recreation Comprehensive Master Plan (ongoing)
Project Type: Parks Master Plan MEPRD Grant: $16,000.00

Project Sponsor: O’Fallon, City of
Project Title: 2020 Citywide Parks Master Plan Update (ongoing)
Project Type: Parks Master Plan MEPRD Grant: $17,000.00

Project Sponsor: Roxana Community Park District Project Title: Roxana Community Park District Comprehensive Plan (Completed in 2021)
Project Type: Parks Master Plan MEPRD Grant: $9,800.00

Project Sponsor: Smithton, Village of Project Title: Smithton Shared-Use Path Master Plan (ongoing)
Project Type: Bicycle-Pedestrian Master Plan MEPRD Grant: $6,770.00

Project Sponsor: Troy, City of
Project Title: City of
Troy – Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan (ongoing)
Project Type: Bicycle-Pedestrian Master Plan MEPRD Grant: $24,000.00

The Metro East Park and Recreation District (MEPRD) was formed by voters of Madison and St. Clair Counties, Illinois in November 2000. MEPRD partners with local governments, special districts, and other jurisdictions for the purposes of developing and improving parks, recreational facilities, and trails throughout the two-county area. MEPRD also increases awareness and use of these amenities by providing related maps, data, statistics, and marketing materials. For more information, visit www.meprd.org

Read More:

Jun 17, 2021 | Metro-East Park District Announces $2m+ In New Funding Opportunities For Local Parks And Trails, Community Planning, And Outdoor Events

Sep 18, 2020 | Metro-East Park District Awards $2M In Grants For Local Parks And Trails

Sep 16, 2022 | MEPRD Awards $3 Million In Grant Funding For Local Park, Trail Projects

Jun 16, 2022 | MEPRD Announces Record $3.4M In Available Grant Funding For Recreation Development, Planning, And Events In Metro East

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