Parks and Rec department awarded grant from playground manufacturing firm GameTime
At the Tuesday, October 3 meeting of the Mammoth Lakes Recreation Commission, it was announced that the Parks and Recreation Department was successful in its application for a $100,000 grant for a new inclusive playground at Mammoth Creek Park. The $100,000 were awarded as “matching funds,” with the expectation that the Town of Mammoth Lakes provide funding of an equal or greater amount for the project.
The grant was awarded through the California Healthy Play Funding initiative, a project of The California Park and Recreation Society (CPRS), a nonprofit whose mission is to “advance the park and recreation profession through education, networking, resources and advocacy.” CPRS offers membership to Parks and Recreation professionals and to Parks and Recreation departments statewide, of which the Town of Mammoth Lakes Parks and Recreation Department, along with 175 other municipal Parks and Recreation Departments, is a member.
The funding itself comes from the company PlayCore, and the playground manufacturing firm GameTime, both of which partnered with CPRS to solicit applications for the grant. The Wellsville, Utah-based firm Great Western Park and Playground is the local representative of GameTime that will collaborate with the Town of Mammoth Lakes to implement the grant. According to the Statewide Healthy Play Training and Funding Initiative Terms and Conditions, as listed on GameTime’s website, the grant funding can only be used to purchase and install approved GameTime playground equipment. Once the play structure is installed, it will be designated as a “National Demonstration Site.” Town of Mammoth Lakes staff will be required to collect data in the form of participant surveys and other metrics regarding how the playground is used. PlayCore will compile that data, along with that from other National Demonstration Sites, for a study to be published by its Center for Professional Development in 2018.
According to a staff report from last week, Town Council voted to support the grant application, and preliminarily authorized the allocation of up to $100,000 in matching funds if the grant was awarded, at its meeting on August 2. On that date, it was decided that Council would take final action to award funding for the project once the grant was awarded.
According to the same staff report, matching funds for the project are not due until the Town purchases the playground equipment. The terms and conditions of the grant require that the Town order the playground equipment by November 15, 2017 if it wishes to use grant funds for the project. Additionally, the grant stipulates that playground installation be completed by March 12, 2018. According to the staff report, “representatives from GameTime indicated that there is flexibility for funding recipients in the ordering and installation of the equipment.”