Richland partners with community to improve parks

RICHLAND, Wash. - Richland is using a team effort improve city parks, by working with private groups, money is going twice as far.

When Richland has extra cash, it shares. This year the city dished out 20 thousand in grant funds. Money that will improve parks. Matching cash kicked in by private donors.

Shawn Meininger runs the track for Columbia Basin BMX. It's not your ordinary park. Keeping riders safe is the top priority. Using this matching money, the park will get new starting gates, among other improvements.

Shawn said, "This will be solid so no kids, while it's up, can get underneath it and get smashed."

A hazard that kids face every time they take the block.

Completing the fence around the track is also on the list. It will keep anyone from running into bike traffic.

Shawn doesn't plan to stop there. He's going to use this opportunity to get more help from the community.

"The city's trying to invest into the park and can you donate and match to this and we can usually turn that 5 thousand dollars into 20 thousand really easily," he said.

Trying to complete projects already underway.

Other projects include water fountains and ground maintenance work up at the dog park, and yes, the dogs will have their own water fountain. Restoration efforts at the North Leslie Groves Area and even a new slide here at Goethals Park.

For the city, partnering with the private groups gets the community invested in its future. It helps them get more work done.

Phil Pinard with Richland Parks and Recs said, "What it does is gives us the opportunity this year to do four projects where maybe if we use that money ourselves we could do one."

Spreading the wealth to offer more, getting top of the line facilities in the process.

Shawn said,"There's probably really only maybe six to eight tracks on the whole west coast that are at this caliber."

He will work hard to make sure it stays that way.

The city works to give money out every year through a project application process.

Grants must be approved by city council.

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