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Elgin, other Bastrop County parks receive grants

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    New trees were recently planted in Elgin Memorial Park, one of the recipients of the St. David’s Foundation Parks with Purpose grant.

During last week's city council meeting, Elgin recreation program manager Elizabeth Marzec announced to that Elgin received a grant for improvements to Elgin Memorial Park.

The grant, part of the St. David’s Foundation Parks with Purpose initiative, gives nearly three million dollars to twenty parks and programs across Central Texas, according to a press release from the St. David’s Foundation on November 15 announcing the grants. See below for more information about the Parks with Purpose grants and the recipient programs in Bastrop County.

Elgin’s grant is for $199,909, which requires no matching or obligation from the city. The money is planned to be used for a playscape, fitness equipment and a walking trail.

A more detailed plan for using the grant will come back to the council in the future.

Also at last week's meeting, the city council discussed how to make decisions regarding funding support for local non-profit organizations. City staff plans to bring a plan back to the council during the December meeting.

About St. David's Foundation Parks with Purpose program

St. David’s Foundation was joined on November 15 at a Colony Park event by representatives of area parks and community recreational facilities to announce Foundation grants of $2,966,660 for parks facilities in Austin and across Central Texas. A part of St. David’s Foundation’s Parks with Purpose effort, these grants will offer new opportunities for families to be active in Central Texas parks.

“Parks with Purpose is a new initiative of the Foundation resulting from a study funded by the Foundation and conducted by the Trust for Public Land, that explored gaps and inequities in the availability of recreational facilities across Central Texas,” said Earl Maxwell, CEO of St. David’s Foundation. He continued, “Families deserve close-to-home access to parks, playgrounds, and other outdoor spaces that offer a variety of ways to have fun together.”

The 18-month study conducted community information gathering sessions across Central Texas to learn what local residents want in their neighborhood parks. The Foundation then sought proposals from area nonprofits to address these inequities and is pleased to announce 20 grants today that will do so. The study can be found at

"We are grateful to St. David’s Foundation for providing funds to improve our city-owned MLK, Jr. Park here in Smithville. The exercise equipment, wheelchair swing, adult/child swing, new ADA-compliant playscapes, and shade structures will make play and exercise more accessible, inclusive, and intergenerational, leading to better outcomes for individuals and for the Smithville community as a whole,” said Scott Saunders, Jr., Mayor, City of Smithville.

The 20 grant recipients announced last week included three in Bastrop County:

• Bastrop County, $200,000, Cedar Creek Park: Installation of adult fitness equipment composed of a shaded “fitness cluster” and equipment along the running trail with permanent restrooms

• City of Elgin Parks and Recreation Department, $199,909, Elgin Memorial Park in Bastrop County: Installation of walking trail, fitness equipment, and a playscape along with newly planted trees

• City of Smithville, $100,000, MLK, Jr. Park in Bastrop County: Implementation of ADA-compliant restrooms, drinking fountains, shade, and playground and exercise equipment along with outdoor recreational programming