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HEYWORTH – Heyworth will receive a $149,000 state grant to help enhance a downtown park. The Department of Natural Resources grant will cover half the cost of an upgrade at Volunteer Park, according to Mayor Larry Mowery.

“That park is highly used, and it’s good for people who live in the center of the city. It’s an easy walk for most,” said Mowery. The project is slated to add a splash park, restroom building, landscaping and two playgrounds to a park that already includes a pavilion, basketball courts and some play equipment.

One of the playgrounds will be geared toward children ages 5-12, while the other one will be for those younger than 5.

Mowery said work on the upgrade could begin this fall, but more likely will break ground in the spring of 2012.

The grant is part of the IDNR’s Open Space Lands Acquisition and Development Grant program, which has a goal of improving outdoor recreation areas and increasing open space through money from the real estate transfer tax. A total of 35 projects were approved in the latest round of OSLAD grants, which total $11.7 million.

“OSLAD grants are vital to communities in many ways, and meet a core IDNR priority of leaving no child inside,” said Marc Miller, the IDNR director.

Mowery said Heyworth will need to complete the project before they receive the grant funds.

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