Millions coming in park grants to Valdosta

Three different parks in Valdosta will receive funding.
Published: May. 22, 2023 at 9:36 PM EDT
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VALDOSTA, Ga. (WALB) - 15 Southwest Georgia cities will soon see improvement projects come to fruition, thanks to recent grants from the governor and state officials.

Governor Brian Kemp’s Office recently announced the funds for communities they say were “disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.” And Valdosta is on that list to receive over $3 million worth of upgrades.

“The city of Valdosta, we are very grateful. Out of the $225 million, the city of Valdosta received a little over $3 million. This is amazing,” Richard Hardy, Valdosta city manager, said. “We know that the parks and recreation authority and the city will benefit greatly from these grants.”

The $225 million will be dispersed across 142 projects across the Peach State.

“People of all ages are going to benefit from these $3 million plus grants that we have received here in our community. This is such a blessing to have,” George Page, executive director for Valdosta-Lowndes Parks and Recreation Authority, said. “We’re very thankful for this opportunity.”

The state awarded over $1 million to both Vallotton and Scott Park for upgrades. They also awarded $200,000 for new playground equipment to replace the existing structure at Olympic Park.

Olympic Park will receive new playground equipment.
Olympic Park will receive new playground equipment.(Source: WALB)

Revitalizing communities is extremely important. But revitalizing what specifically benefits children in rural communities is even more important.

“Park spaces like these are critical to keep our kids active and to keep them in health habits,” Page said.

Law enforcement agencies across South Georgia have seen an uptick in teen gun violence. That’s something leaders hope these upgrades can help put a stop to the violence.

“Anytime you can find an avenue to get the kids off the streets, put them in a place where they can be productive, and put them in areas where they have mentors,” Hardy said. “Getting these grants is amazing for the community. The entire city is going to benefit from these awards.”

The funds have not been released just yet.