Itemizer-Observer

MONMOUTH — The Monmouth Parks and Recreation Board awarded five recreation grants last year, and it’s looking forward to hearing ideas for this year.

Last year’s recipients were a community health and fitness fair, 4-H nature camp, Easter egg hunts at Madrona and Gentlewoods parks and the Reindeer Fun Run.

“That was kind of exciting for us to have some of our more familiar programs and some new blood,” board member Mark Medel told city councilors at their Feb. 4 meeting. “It was showing that our outreach and getting the word out worked and provided some additional fun activities for the community.”

The board is accepting applications through March 2 for funding requests for activities that encourage and support recreation in Monmouth’s parks.

Grants are up to $500 and are available to individuals who have lived within the city limits for six or more months, and to Monmouth-based nonprofits. Nonprofit organizations based outside of Monmouth must have a project leader who meets the individual eligibility.

Preference is given to recreation activities that take place in a city park or other public property located within city limits.

Medel also gave councilors an overview of the work the parks and rec board did last year and what they’re working on now.

“We reviewed and provided feedback for the parks and recreation master plan,” he said. “We used online tools and open houses, and even the Music in the Park series to get some of that feedback.”

The board completed some small parks assessments, he said.

The purpose of those is to provide feedback and suggestions for things such as adding benches or garbage cans.

Medel said the board has been pushing the recreation in “parks and recreation.”

“We heard from a lot of people about tennis courts, and of course pickle ball was a hot topic,” Medel said. “We even got petanque, which is similar to bocce ball. There’s a lot of interest kind of driving our decision making.”

That feedback led to discussions on the need for more parks and recreation opportunities, and the necessary funding, he said.

“We all know that there’s a bit of lack of facilities, so people are scrambling trying to figure out where they’re going to have these activities, whether it’s basketball practice, softball, whatever it is,” Medel said. “So that’s been a large part of the discussion and why we’re trying to push that agenda of having more facilities available so that there’s less competition in a way.”

For more information on the recreation grant: www.ci.monmouth.or.us

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