Bridging the funding gap


Clermont County Park District Director Chris Clingmman, center, hands off a sign for the new bridge at Pierce Park to Pierce Township trustees and park staff. Pictured from left are Parks Committee Member Doug Dresie, Trustee Nick Kelly, Trustee Bonnie Batchler, Trustee Chair Allen Freeman, Clingman, Service Department Director John Koehler and Parks Committee Member Randy Page.

PIERCE TWP. – When the Clermont County Park District planned to help bridge the funding gap many community parks face, Pierce Township took the offer literally.

The township received $11,250 from the 2017 Park District’s Community Parks Improvement Grant Program to help replace a decaying covered bridge at Pierce Park.

The new bridge – officially dedicated in a brief ceremony July 11 – marks the first completed project using grant program funds.

Pierce Township Parks Committee Member Doug Dresie said the new bridge is a significant upgrade. Built in the 1980s, the old wooden bridge posed a safety hazard.

“This bridge will last many years,” he said. “It’s a great contribution to the park and improving safety for the people using the park.”

The bridge is a well-used feature in the park located at 961 Locust Corner Road, often providing the setting for prom, wedding and holiday photos.

Board of Trustees Chair Allen Freeman also liked the addition.

“I think the bridge is fantastic,” he said. “We couldn’t be happier about it. It went together very easily and the funding was tremendous.”

“This is part of our mission to help all the parks in Clermont County, not just the Park District properties,” said Park District Director Chris Clingman. “We’re glad to have this first project complete and we’re looking forward to finishing many more.

“Our parks – and all the parks in the county – are an excellent resource for our communities. We hope projects like this will add to the quality of life for all the people living in and visiting Clermont County.”

The Park District recently announced the 2018 Community Parks Improvement Grant Program has $100,000 available; individual grant applications may ask for up to $20,000.

“We don’t have parks in every township or village,” Clingman said. “This is one way for us to be more directly involved in those communities where we don’t have any facilities. But it’s also a way for us to share the spotlight with the local parks in communities where we do.”