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GBCF grant offers boost to Larned Rec Commission projects
Larned rec commission grant
Austin Weiser, Larned Recreation Commission intern, paints the soccer field at the Northside Complex. The Golden Belt Community Foundation recently awarded the commission a grant for two projects.

        A $35,000 grant has given the Larned Recreation Commission (LRC) just the boost it needed to keep the momentum going on two park-related projects.

            The Golden Belt Community Foundation (GBCF) Strategic Grant is earmarked for improvements to the Northside Complex and the Phinney Complex.

            “As always, the Foundation was very easy to work with throughout the grant process,” said Mike Seeman, LRC director. “For a small-town recreation commission that has historically operated on a small budget, this sizable grant allows us to move forward at Northside and frees up funds for other projects.

            “We cannot thank the Foundation enough for providing this additional funding we need to continue the improvements on our new properties.”

            For example, Seeman noted, the grant has enabled LRC to start the Northside fencing project at 16th and State a year early. The LRC is a little more than half-way to completion at Northside.

            “The final short-term plans are to put up a fence and replace the fabric on existing backstops at the baseball/softball fields,” Seeman said. “We also need to put in a restroom facility.”

            Other short-term projects include a sprinkler system, trees, fencing, backstops, basketball goals, sidewalks with handicapped-accessible entrances, playground covering, storage facility and after-school program.

            Next on the agenda is the long-term plan for the Phinney Complex, 12th and Fry. This plan includes a sprinkler system and trees in 2022; fencing, backstop and sidewalks with handicapped-accessible entrances in 2023; and playground covering, restroom facility and storage facility in 2024.

            To date, $95,000 from the LRC budget has been spent; approximately $86,000 is needed to complete everything at both sites.

            In addition to Seeman’s appreciation for the Foundation, he also is grateful for the Larned community in general. “Without a doubt we have broad community support for these projects. We currently use Northside for flag football and soccer. The feedback has been very positive.”

            The Larned school district donated the land to the LRC for these projects.

            Teresa Powelson, GBCF program officer, said “we are very excited to be part of these great Larned Recreation Commission projects. The enhancements of outdoor play spaces at both complexes will be a huge asset to Pawnee County and the surrounding area.

            “We are so pleased to award a grant of this impact,” she continued. “Quality outdoor recreation space for families is a major part of building a great community.”

At $23 million in total assets and more than 180 funds under management, the Golden Belt Community Foundation has been connecting people who care to causes that matter since 1996. Golden Belt Community Foundation exists to provide non-profit organizations in central Kansas with a permanent source of support and to serve as a vehicle for charitable giving for donors. GBCF serves the counties of Barton, Pawnee, Rush, and Stafford.  For more information about Golden Belt Community Foundation, call (620) 792-3000 or visit their website at