Grants totaling nearly $50,000 through the King County Youth and Amateur Sports Grants program have been awarded to projects in King County Councilmember Reagan Dunn’s district that will improve access to healthy lifestyles.
A project to help extend a pedestrian trail in Newcastle, and an Enumclaw-based program that offers youth opportunities to experience nature across South King County, have received funding through the King County Youth and Amateur Sports Grants program, Metropolitan King County Council Vice Chair Reagan Dunn announced today.
“These grant awards are an investment in the health and well-being of our local communities,” Dunn said. “When these projects are implemented, residents in Newcastle and Enumclaw will have more opportunities for recreation and increased access to outdoor education.”
Newcastle Parks and Recreation received $25,000 in funding for work on the CrossTown Trail – a four-mile-long trail that will stretch across the city and connect to King County’s Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park’s 36-mile trail system.
The CrossTown Trail work includes approximately 440 linear feet of soft-surface trail at Vera Risdon Middle School, which sits at the four-mile-long trail’s westernmost segment.
Improving the trail will provide students from the middle school and the nearby elementary school as well as the general public to be active and engage with their natural surroundings.
The school is doing the initial grading work, and the City of Newcastle will work on final grading and drainage aspects of the CrossTown Trail, which is nearing completion. Funds will also be used for isolated repairs in the more eastern portion of the CrossTown Trail, near where it will connect to the Cougar Mountain trail system.
The Enumclaw-based Nexus Youth and Families organization received $23,135 in grant funding for its Summer Nature Adventure Program. This program offers groups of eight to 12 geographically isolated and low-income youth opportunities to participate in organized day trips to varied locations across South King County, including local and state parks, plus national forests.
Examples of activities the youth can participate in include river rafting and rock climbing; visits to zoos and museums; tree, animal and plant identification; and other activities that are not readily accessible to these young people.
The Youth and Amateur Sports Grants program offers increased opportunities and access for young people to engage in healthy physical activity through new or improved facilities or programs, especially those serving under-resourced communities.
The grants, which range from $6,750 to $250,000, are administered by the King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks, Parks and Recreation Division.
The program is funded and sustained through a 1 percent car-rental tax authorized by the Legislature in 1993. Funds can only be used for programs or capital projects that increase access to health-enhancing physical activities.
Formerly called the Youth Sports Facilities Grants, King County has awarded roughly $15 million in grants since the program's inception in 1993, creating nearly 350 new or renovated youth sports facilities throughout the county.
In 2017, the King County Council restructured the program, providing Council-directed grants, as well as competitive grants, to non-profit organizations, local governments, and school districts. Funding is available for sports and recreation programs, as well as for capital improvement projects.
For more information, visit www.kingcounty.gov/parks/sportsgrants.