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86-thousand dollars in state money is coming to the City of Chelan, part of more than two million dollars in grants from the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office to help diverse, urban neighborhoods and rural communities plan for outdoor recreation facilities.

Chelan will use their 86 thousand dollars to develop a comprehensive plan that will guide the creation of the park system for years to come. The plan is meant to create a balanced park system that includes regional destination parks, high-quality local parks, biking and walking linkages between parks and other community centers, regional trail connections, conservation lands, recreation programming, and increased access to Lake Chelan using pocket parks at the ends of public roads that were submerged with the construction of the Chelan Dam.

Other cities in North Central Washington are also getting some of the 2-million dollars in state funds, including 35-thousand dollars to Waterville to complete a comprehensive parks and recreation plan with a focus on planning facilities for a multi-use, non-motorized trail on Badger Mountain, 3 miles south of town. The town will map the trail and develop design construction drawings, complete engineering, and acquire permits for an entrance and a parking lot.

In Okanogan County, the town of Elmer City, not far from Coulee Dam, was awarded 68-thousand dollars to develop a comprehensive parks and recreation plan that will be used for planning projects and applying for construction funding.

And Oroville gets 40-thousand dollars to develop a parks, recreation, and open space plan. The project will include an inventory and assessment of park assets, outreach to understand local demand and needs, and the development of a capital improvement plan.

The Legislature funded the Planning for Recreation Access grant program in 2021 as a way to fund planning projects in communities that lack adequate access to outdoor recreation opportunities. The program focuses on diverse urban neighborhoods, small rural communities and those with less experience writing grants.

In total, project proposals requested more than $12.5 million and fewer than one-fifth were funded.

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