Improvement Projects - Parks, Trails & Facilities

Community Services is working hard to improve existing City parks and facilities.  With extremely limited budgetary resources, staff is always searching for creative ways to complete goals with supplementary funding by applying for new grant opportunities.  Click on a project to learn more about it including project pictures, conceptual designs, videos and more.  To learn more about grant funding, click on any of the questions below. 

List of Improvement Projects:

Questions About Grant Funding:

 


Why are grants needed?

Grants are an important source of funding for City parks and trails projects.  The City of Eureka has limited financial resources that it is able to dedicate to improvement projects.  A majority of the services that the City provides its citizens are funded by various taxes and fee revenue.  This general fund fluctuates every year due to the economy and a number of other external factors.  When City revenue is less than City expenditures, there is less funding available to provide services and reductions are made to keep the City’s budget balanced.  Grant programs help fill the funding gap for projects which the City’s general fund revenue cannot support and provide opportunities that would otherwise be fiscally impossible.  Grants can also provide economic benefit to communities as local companies and businesses are most often utilized for the project in areas such as design services, construction and/or providing supplies.


How do grants work?

Grant funding opportunities are provided from outside agencies such as Federal, State, Local, and Private Organizations through a competitive application process.  Each grant opportunity has its own unique project guidelines respective of the funding organization’s desired outcomes.  Funding organizations seek out the strongest and most impactful projects which utilize funding to its best ability.  Through the highly competitive and complex application process, applicants must propose their plan, how the money will be spent, and how it is going to serve the desired outcomes of the funding agency.  Grants are symbiotic between the funder who wants to support a public cause, and the recipient who can carry out the project if awarded funding.  Grant funding awards do not need to be repaid.


Why can’t grant money be used for other needed projects around the city like paving streets or updating sewer or water infrastructure?

Due to grant parameters, grant funds can only be utilized for the grant project as outlined and approved by the governing grant agency or organization.  Grants require a detailed budget and accounting for all money awarded.  Any deviation from the approved project not only jeopardizes any current projects but can affect the ability to receive grant funding in the future.  Grant funding is not a blank check for the City to use at its own discretion.


How are projects chosen?  My neighborhood park could really use some improvements.

City staff are aware of parks that need improvement and are actively seeking grant opportunities to fund these costly projects.  There are a number of factors that are considered when selecting a project in need of funding.  Some of the questions that staff ask when reviewing grant opportunities to pursue include:

  • Which park meets the grant criteria such as neighborhood park deficiency or income demographics?
  • What is the most competitive project for this grant?
  • What is needed to submit a proposal or application and can it be done by the submission deadline? Is community outreach needed? A conceptual design? An equipment list?
  • When does the project need to be completed? Is it feasible for what the project entails?

Unfortunately, not all projects that the City would like to complete are a good fit for the grant opportunities available at the time.  City staff are persistent and continue to search for project funding.  Some projects take a little longer to fund but their completion is just as exciting and magical.


What can I do to help?

There are a number of ways that community members can be part of the process.

  • Share your thoughts and be an active participant in the community outreach process.  Attend a meeting or complete an online survey to let staff know what is important to you about a project.  Your input, along with others from the community, is what helps drive a project’s conceptual design.
  • Tell a friend or neighbor about the project and upcoming community outreach opportunities in your neighborhood.  Social media is an easy, efficient way to do this.
  • Volunteer to help during the project.  City staff will share any opportunities where volunteers are needed.  It could be preparing a space for work to begin, painting or spreading wood chips, it all depends on the project.
  • Spend some time and enjoy it!  Once a project is complete, using the park on a regular basis helps deter negative activities such as vandalism and graffiti.  This also helps create a positive, safe environment and changes the general perception of the park.
  • Help protect our new community investment by communicating any issues you encounter to City staff.  For maintenance or equipment concerns, contact Community Services at 707-441-4241.  For safety concerns or to report criminal activity, contact the Eureka Police Department at 707-441-4060.  We want to take care of our investment so it can be shared with future generations.