DEP AWARDS $500,000 TO TOWN OF HILLIARD FOR PARK ACCESSIBILITY PROJECT

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Feb. 7, 2017

CONTACT: DEP Press Office, 850.245.2112, DEPNews@dep.state.fl.us

DEP AWARDS $500,000 TO TOWN OF HILLIARD FOR PARK ACCESSIBILITY PROJECT

~Grant will help improve accessibility at Oxford Street Park~

Check presentation to town of Hilliard

Florida State Parks Assistant Director Chuck Hatcher presents $500,000 FRDAP check to Lisa Purvis, town clerk of Hilliard, and town officials.

HILLIARD, Fla. – The Florida Department of Environmental Protection awarded the town of Hilliard $500,000 for improvements to Oxford Street Park as one of 10 unique abilities projects funded through the Florida Recreation Development Assistance Program (FRDAP). This year, DEP is awarding $3 million in grants to 10 communities around the state for projects that incorporate adaptations or modifications to meet the needs of all potential visitors, including those with physical or developmental disabilities.

“Enhancing facilities to allow greater access for individuals with unique abilities not only benefits the community, but also the individuals they serve,” said Chuck Hatcher, Assistant Director of the Florida Park Service. “I am proud to present this grant award as we work in partnership with local communities to provide more recreational opportunities for Florida’s residents and visitors.”

The improvements to Oxford Street Park will include renovating a playground with ADA-compliant equipment and surface material, renovating a basketball court to allow wheelchair access, adding an accessible access route to an existing picnic facility, adding a sloping entrance ramp into an existing swimming pool, and upgrading a parking lot to include ADA-compliant parking spaces. Additionally, the town of Hilliard will construct a new accessible playground splash pad, accessible picnic facilities, an exercise trail with ADA-compliant access routes and security lighting at Oxford Street Park.

“We’re really excited to have been awarded this grant to allow us to modify our existing recreational opportunities and create access for all of our residents,” said Lisa Purvis, town clerk of Hilliard. “Providing accessibility to our facilities, especially to those who are disabled or have limited mobility, allows us to greater serve the community and gives more opportunities to individuals that may have not otherwise been able to utilize them due to physical limitations.”

FRDAP is a competitive grant program that provides state funds for the acquisition or development of lands for public outdoor recreational use. Eligible applicants include municipal and county governments and other authorized entities with the legal responsibility to provide public outdoor recreation. For more information, visit the FRDAP webpage.