For immediate release - November 15, 2005
TAVARES — The Lake County Board of County Commissioners received a $200,000 matching state grant during its Tuesday meeting from State Sen. Carey Baker and State Rep. Alan Hays to improve the Palatlakaha Environmental and Agricultural Reserve, also known as PEAR Park.
State Rep. Alan Hays and State Sen. Carey Baker present the Lake County Commission Chairman Jennifer Hill with a $200,000 matching state grant to improve PEAR Park.
The grant from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Land and Water Conservation Fund Program (LWCF) will assist the Lake County Parks Division with developing the first phase of recreational features for the 260-acre reserve.
Located at the end of University Avenue, south of Leesburg on U.S. Highway 27, PEAR Park is being developed into a regional park. It currently features the Dr. S.J. Stephany Memorial River Trail and a dog park, and is also a popular location for bird watchers. The matching grant will assist the County in building a playground, picnic area and open play fields in the park. Construction on the new features is expected to begin in late 2006.
Lake County submitted its grant application this past spring. The Bureau of Design and Recreation Services evaluated the eligible application according to the Florida Administrative Code and the LWCF Manual, and assigned it a final score. Based on the scores of the Lake County grant and others submitted, the Bureau prepared and submitted a recommended priority list to the Secretary of the DEP for approval. The state-approved projects were then submitted to the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service for final review and award.
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