The state’s Natural Resource Commission approved a dozen federally funded grants Thursday that total about $1.5 million for public recreational trails, conservation areas and parks.

The money comes from the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund. Last week, the Department of the Interior announced Iowa would get about $3.4 million this year from the fund. The department is doling out a total of $279 million to states based on their populations.

The state commission is tasked with selecting local projects, which get final approval by the National Park Service, said Alex Moon, a spokesperson for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. The grants cover up to half of the total project cost.

Applicants approved by the commission Thursday include:

  1. Story County Conservation Board: $200,000 to help purchase 127 acres of undeveloped land northeast of Ames to create the Deppe Family Conservation Area.
  2. Des Moines County Conservation Board: $149,600 to improve accessibility at Big Hollow Park.
  3. Des Moines: $200,000 to install pickleball courts, repair a basketball court and add lighting to Stone Park.
  4. Winterset: $100,000 to remove an unsafe playground and install new equipment.
  5. Tipton: $75,000 to create a small park in the city’s downtown area with a splash pad, seating and bathrooms.
  6. Laurens: $75,000 to help build a new swimming pool.
  7. Cherokee: $100,000 for a new skate park.
  8. Bondurant: $100,000 for a recreational trail extension.
  9. Farragut: $50,000 for a recreational trail bridge over Fisher Creek.
  10. Boone County Conservation Board: $150,000 for a recreational trail.
  11. Dubuque: $175,000 for a recreational trail extension.
  12. Washington: $100,000 for lights and a restroom and concession building at a soccer field.

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