The state Controlling Board approved $26,597 in funding on Monday for NatureWorks projects in Jefferson County.  According to State Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire), the City of Toronto will receive $15,824 for improvements at War Memorial Park.  The improvements include a new, accessible climbing and sliding playground structure and two new pool lifts. The Village of Smithfield will receive $7,773 for improvements to its little league softball field.  Plans consist of replacing the dugouts and fencing, including the backstop, foul ball lines and protection at the dugout/player area.

“NatureWorks grants have been a valuable tool in assisting local government subdivisions with the acquisition, development and rehabilitation of recreational areas across the state.  I am pleased that Jefferson County received funding for two very worthy projects,” said Rep. Cera.

The NatureWorks Grant Program is administered by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.  Funding for such projects comes from a bond issue program that helps fund major renovations and improvements for Ohio's state and local parks, state forests, nature preserves, wildlife areas and other natural resources facilities.  This year alone, there were 129 applications submitted from 70 of 88 counties. A total of 90 projects were awarded in this funding cycle, for a total of $2,348,553. 

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