When people think of conserving parks, they tend to think of America’s national parks, and for good reason. These parks exemplify the best of America’s landscape and are home to diverse wildlife and breathtaking views. The fascination with our national parks can sometimes lead people to forget about the local parks that are in their cities. These green spaces are critical to building community but can be in need of repair because of insufficient funding at the local level of government. Bobcat Company is coming in to fix this challenge by funding restoration efforts at five parks across the country.
Bobcat Company, the global leader in compact equipment, innovation, and worksite solutions, recently partnered with the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) to celebrate Park and Recreation Month. The theme for this year’s month of celebration was “Where Community Grows,” and the commitment announced by Bobcat was certainly fitting.
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The company committed five $50,000 grants to five different communities across the country which will help fund local park improvement projects. In addition to this generous funding, Bobcat’s employees also volunteered their time and talents to better their communities.
“This year we are celebrating 65 years, and as we reflect on our rich history, we are also envisioning how we can build a better, more sustainable future,” stated Mike Ballweber, Bobcat’s North America president. “Through our partnership with NRPA and our sponsorship of Park and Recreation Month, we aim to build stronger communities for a better tomorrow.”
Here is what the five different grant recipients are planning to do with the funds:
City of Stonecrest in Stonecrest, Georgia
Stonecrest plans to use its grant funding to develop a walking trail at Everett Park. This trail will encourage the local community to get outside and will provide a new location for programs put on by the local parks and recreation department. Bobcat has also donated equipment that will be put to use in developing the trail.
Davidson County Parks and Recreation in Lexington, North Carolina
The grant funding given to Davidson County Parks and Recreation will go toward developing a bog garden and a pollinator garden in Yadkin River Park. A coalition has been created to work together in developing these gardens with members including North Carolina state agencies, the town of Spencer, and the Catawba College Department of Environment and Sustainability. These gardens will be used for educational purposes while displaying the resiliency of North Carolina’s bog plants and pollinators alike.
City of Buffalo in Buffalo, New York
Grant funding from Bobcat will help develop a 22-acre conservation easement to be known as Houghton Park. The park will replace what was formerly a dumping site in an urban neighborhood. City of Buffalo Parks is partnering with the Buffalo Niagra River Land Trust to develop the park.
San Antonio River Authority in San Antonio, Texas
Trueheart Ranch Park will be receiving a facelift using these grant funds. The park sits next to the San Antonio River, so part of the planned work will help make the park more resilient in a changing climate. The river authority currently plans to plant native species, create two bioswales (vegetated ditches to handle stormwater), and develop new trails.
City of Auburn Parks, Arts & Recreation in Auburn, Washington
Thanks to funding from Bobcat, one Auburn park will be more accessible to the community than ever. The money from the grant will be used to update Auburndale Park with new ADA-accessible gravel pathways. Two other pathways will also be repaired.
America’s parks are a wonderful thing. Thanks to Bobcat’s generosity, five communities across the country will get to enjoy the outdoors even more.
Kelvey Vander Hart is a native Iowan, a member of the American Conservation Coalition, and a communications specialist at Reason Foundation.