Thursday, March 29, 2012

Walnut Hills park in running for national grant

A Cincinnati park is in the running for a grant of up to $15,000 that would refresh its well-worn basketball court.

DeHart Playground, located at Mathers and Altoona streets in Walnut Hills, is one of 25 parks nationwide in the running for the grant as part of the Sprite Spark Parks Project, an initiative from Sprite and the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) to rehabilitate basketball courts at city parks and recreation centers.

Estimated to have 1,500 annual users, the court suffers from sunken spots and washed-away asphalt. Grant funds would pay for a new asphalt overlay, color coat, and relining.

Visitors can vote for DeHart Playground by entering the My Coke Rewards codes found on Sprite products at Voting ends May 31.

Sprite has promised a total of $275,000 in grant funding, with every park receiving a grant based on the number of votes it receives.

"Parks, playgrounds and recreational facilities across the country are the best places for kids and teens to go to be physically active, improve their health and wellness and have fun," said Barbara Tulipane, president and CEO of NRPA, in a prepared release. "We are proud to work with Sprite on this restorative effort because we must preserve and maintain these public spaces to ensure that all can take advantage of the healthy benefits they have to offer for years to come."

Other nominated parks are located in Birmingham; Charlotte; Chicago; College Park, Ga.; Dallas; Des Moines; Drexel Hill, Pa.; Durham; Far Rockaway, N.Y.; Grand Rapids; Houston; Indianapolis, Los Angeles; Louisville; Memphis; Miami; Milwaukee; New Orleans; Oakland; Phoenix; Richmond, Va.; St. Louis; Seattle; and Washington, DC.