The Friends of Harrington Parks & Recreation have begun fundraising projects.
The Friends of Harrington Parks & Recreation are up and running and already eyeing their first projects, President Doug Poore said at a Harrington city council meeting on Sept. 22.
“We have our first check in hand and the second is one the way, we’re talking with the city’s grant writer, and I’ve got a few ideas of my own,” Poore said. “We’re moving.”
The Friends are a recognized tax-exempt charity, devoted to finding grants and charitable donations that they can funnel to the city’s parks and recreation department.
They already have a few projects in mind.
“One of the things that’s sitting out there is funding to create four brand-new soccer fields,” Poore said. “When they come in it’s a vacant lot, and when they leave there’s turf, goals, everything. That money sits out there from the U.S. Soccer Foundation.”
He’s also eyeing a USDA matching-grant program to build or refurbish a multi-purpose recreation center that he said could come in at as much as $600,000. Harrington’s rec center is badly in need of an overhaul, and Parks & Rec Director Bill Falasco has said that just a new floor to replace the uneven concrete it has now would be a godsend for the department.
“That’s a matching fund issue, so it wouldn’t just come out of nowhere, but it’s something we can investigate,” Poore said.
He added that he doesn’t want to overreach the city’s resources; there are very few grants, if any, to hire new staff to maintain and run new fields or buildings.
“There’s not a lot of grants for operating money,” Poore said. “You can buy all the equipment in the world, but you can’t get grants for staffing … whatever grants we get, the manpower has to be part of the discussion.”
The Friends meet at 7 p.m. on the third Thursday of every month at the Parks & Rec building at 114 E. Liberty St. For more information, call Poore at 670-6158 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.