Skip to main content

Ohio communities to receive more than $3.4M for outdoor recreation projects

Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Press Release

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) has recommended that eight local communities receive a combined $3.4 million in funding to improve and increase outdoor recreation opportunities. The money is provided through federal matching grants from the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).

“Making improvements at our parks, playgrounds and trails is just one way we can encourage people to get outdoors and enjoy nature,” Governor Mike DeWine said. “These grants will help Ohio communities give their citizens more opportunities to experience and appreciate the great outdoors.”

ODNR administers the federal LWCF grant program for Ohio. Annually, the LWCF provides up to 50-percent reimbursement assistance for state and local government subdivisions, such as villages and cities, for the acquisition, development and rehabilitation of outdoor recreational areas. The federal grant program is supported by offshore oil lease revenues and other non-tax sources.  

“The projects supported by these grants add to the health, happiness and overall quality of life for Ohio communities,” ODNR Director Mary Mertz said. “I’m excited to be able to help encourage more people to get outside and enjoy the spaces right in their neighborhoods.”

Projects recommended for funding include:  

• Cuyahoga County
Brecksville - $500,000 for replacement of an existing playground and development of a loop trail with an accessible entrance ramp at Kids Quarters.

• Hamilton County
Great Parks of Hamilton County - $500,000 to replace the playground at Sharon Woods.

• Hancock County
Fostoria - $446,770 for a new splashpad and restrooms at City Park.

• Lake County
Painesville - $500,000 to install an amphitheater at Kiwanis Recreation Park.

• Medina County
Westfield Center - $358,100 to acquire 44.32 acres of greenspace for passive recreation at Westfield Center Village Park.

• Montgomery County
Centerville - $500,000 to renovate recreational facilities, trails and ponds at Stubbs Park.

• Putnam County
Columbus Grove - $164,766 for an inclusive play facility at Hall Avenue Park.

• Shelby County
Russia - $500,000 for the construction of a splash pad and pavilion at Russia Community Park.

The complete list of projects recommended by ODNR to receive the 2023 Land and Water Conservation Fund can be found here. These funds are pending final approval by the National Park Service.

Many local parks, trails, pools and other outdoor recreation facilities that Ohioans enjoy today were made possible through the federal program, which has awarded more than $165 million to projects in Ohio since its inception in 1965. To learn more about the LWCF, click here.  

NatureWorks is a similar grant program for outdoor recreation facilities in parks, which is funded through the Ohio Parks and Natural Resources Bond Issue. NatureWorks applications will be accepted until Wednesday, June 1. Awarded projects will be announced this autumn.  

ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at