Ohio allocates green space conservation funds

COLUMBUS – With the recent approval of the state’s biennial budget, an additional $1.92 million has been allocated to the Clean Ohio Fund: Green Space Conservation Program for the District 14 Natural Resources Assistance Council.

With this new allocation and previous funds, District 14 now has $4.74 million available for the Green Space Conservation Program. To encourage more applicants to take advantage of the program, District 14 has extended the application deadline for Rounds 7 and 8 to Nov. 20.

This program helps to fund preservation of open spaces, sensitive ecological areas and stream corridors. Applicants may request grants for up to 75 percent of the estimated costs for projects that do either of the following:

Open space: Open space acquisition and related development of those open spaces, including the acquisition of easements. This includes acquisition of land or rights in land for parks, forests, wetlands, natural areas that protect an endangered plant or animal population, other natural areas and connecting corridors for natural areas. Related development projects include projects for the construction or enhancement of facilities that are necessary to make the acquired open space area accessible and useable by the general public.

Riparian corridor: Protection and enhancement of riparian corridors or watersheds, including the protection of streams, rivers, lakes and other bodies of water. Projects may include reforestation of land or planting of vegetation for filtration and simple acquisition or acquisition of easements for providing access, or for protection and enhancement.

District 14 includes Carroll, Columbiana, Coshocton, Guernsey, Harrison, Holmes, Jefferson and Tuscarawas counties, according to officials.

Applications will need to be submitted to the district liaison by 4 p.m. on Nov. 22.

Application materials are available from the Ohio Public Works Commission website, www.pwc.state.oh.us/GSCdefault.html or from the district liaison Jeannette Wierzbicki, P.E., Ohio Mid-Eastern Governments Association, P.O. Box 130, 326 Highland Avenue, Cambridge, OH 43725. For information, contact Wierzbicki at (740) 439-4471, extension 204, or e-mailing jeannettew@omegadistrict.org