FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Feb. 14, 2017
DEP AWARDS $3 MILLION IN GRANTS TO IMPROVE ACCESSIBILITY TO OUTDOOR RECREATION
~Funding will support renovations for unique abilities projects~
Many of the projects include accessible playgrounds, like the boundless playground on the St. Marks Trail.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is awarding
$3 million in grant funding for
10 unique abilities projects across the state through the Florida Recreation
Development Assistance Program (FRDAP). Through these projects, local communities will provide recreational
enhancements and opportunities for individuals with unique abilities and
incorporate adaptations or modifications to the design and development of
recreational resources or equipment to meet the needs of all potential
participants, including those with physical or developmental disabilities.
Governor Scott said: "Florida has the world's most
beautiful natural treasures and everyone should have the opportunity to enjoy
the great outdoors in our state. I am proud this funding will increase access
to our state parks for Floridians and visitors with unique abilities through
renovations and improvements to our recreational areas."
DEP Interim Secretary Ryan Matthews said: “DEP is proud to partner with local
communities to implement these projects that will allow all Floridians and
visitors to recreate and enjoy our state’s world-renowned natural resources. This program is just
one of the many ways that DEP is committed to
working with local communities to improve recreational access across the
Former Florida Senate President
Andy Gardiner said: “Physical activity is key to a healthy lifestyle, and every
Floridian deserves the opportunity to utilize our parks for the outdoor
activities they enjoy. I am pleased to see these awards distributed to parks
across our state. These improvements will mean a great deal to people with
unique abilities who are excited to fully participate in outdoor sports and
The Agency for Persons with
Disabilities (APD) Director Barbara Palmer said: “APD is excited to see so many
wonderful recreational projects funded to improve access for individuals with
disabilities around the state. Accessibility is critical to ensure inclusive
parks. People with disabilities are just like everyone else wanting to enjoy
the outdoors and all that our parks have to offer. I am very happy to see this
vital DEP money going to improve the lives of those with unique abilities.”
City of Hawthorne, Lindsey Phillips Park Phase II – Awarded
$125,000 for the renovation of a playground with ADA-compliant equipment and surface material, renovation of picnic facilities to allow greater access, renovations to make a fishing
pier ADA compliant, the creation of an ADA-compliant boat launch facility, and modifications to make existing restrooms and walkways ADA compliant. Additionally, the project includes construction of a new accessible playground, ADA-compliant picnic facilities and ADA-compliant sidewalks
between picnic pavilions.
City of Hawthorne, Hawthorne Athletic Park Phase III – Awarded $125,000 for renovation of a playground with ADA-compliant equipment and surface material, the addition of an accessible access route to existing picnic facilities and upgrading the parking lot with ADA-compliant handicapped parking spaces. Additionally, new development includes the construction of an accessible playground splash park, accessible picnic pavilions with ADA-compliant access routes and tables, an accessible exercise trail providing access to all new venues included in the renovations, an accessible shuffleboard court and ADA-compliant sidewalks to restrooms.
of Live Oak, Heritage Gardens Park – Awarded $500,000 for development of a new,
barrier-free playground with shade structures, ADA-compliant picnic
facilities, accessible fitness stations, a barrier-free miracle league baseball field,
handicap parking area and security lighting.
of Margate, Sports Complex – Awarded $204,500 for renovation of an accessible
playground to include ADA-compliant equipment and surface material, renovation of an existing fitness trail and exercise stations to allow for wheelchair access, and improvements to an ADA-compliant baseball field.
of Miramar, Ansin Sports Complex – Awarded $110,000 for the development of six ADA-compliant
fitness stations along an accessible fitness trail, three ADA-compliant picnic areas and walking trail lighting, as well as
renovation of playground with ADA-compliant equipment and surface material, and improvement of a basketball court to allow wheelchair access.
of Starke, Edwards Park Unique Abilities Project – Awarded $500,000 for
the development of an accessible playground splash pad, ADA-compliant nature trail, new ADA-compliant picnic facilities,
ADA-compliant restrooms and handicap parking area, as well as renovation of four handball courts to allow wheelchair access,
the addition of ADA-compliant equipment to an existing playground, and improvements to an ADA-compliant restroom.
County, Hart Springs Park Phase IV – Awarded $183,000 for the renovation of a
swimming pool to include an ADA-approved fixed lift, as well as new
development of an accessible playground, ADA-compliant picnic facilities, an ADA-compliant nature trail with accessible entrance routes and
County, Otter Springs Park Phase I – Awarded $252,500 for the renovation of a
swimming pool with an ADA-approved fixed lift, the addition of an ADA-compliant beach access ramp and renovation of existing restrooms. Additionally, new development at the park will include an
accessible playground, two accessible picnic facilities with ADA-compliant picnic tables, and an ADA-compliant nature trail with access to historical facilities and
County, First Federal Park – Awarded $500,000 for development of a barrier-free
playground with shade structures, ADA-compliant picnic facilities, accessible fitness
stations, a barrier-free miracle league baseball field, handicap parking
area and security lighting.
of Hilliard, Oxford Street Park Phase IV – Awarded $500,000 for improvements, which 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.
FRDAP is a competitive grant program which
provides financial assistance for acquisition or development of land for public
outdoor recreation. Eligible participants include all county governments,
municipalities in Florida and other legally constituted local governmental
entities with the responsibility for providing outdoor recreational sites and
facilities for the general public. In total, more than $10 million has been awarded in FRDAP grant funding this fiscal year. For more information, please visit the FRDAP webpage.