Board pledges matching funds for Woodville grant

by Quinton Sheppard - Posted on Jan 09, 2013 - 01:40 PM

Photo: The Gloucester County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously on Jan. 2 to approve a state Department of Conservation and Recreation Land and Water Conservation Fund Grant resolution, pledging matching funds of $300,000 to complete a three-phase electrical project at Woodville Park. Shown at the park are volunteer Chris Clifford and Gloucester’s parks, recreation and tourism director Carol Steele, both of whom have contributed countless hours to help make the dream of the park a reality. Photo by Quinton Sheppard

The Gloucester County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously on Jan. 2 to approve a state Department of Conservation and Recreation Land and Water Conservation Fund Grant resolution, pledging matching funds of $300,000 to complete a three-phase electrical project at Woodville Park. Shown at the park are volunteer Chris Clifford and Gloucester’s parks, recreation and tourism director Carol Steele, both of whom have contributed countless hours to help make the dream of the park a reality. Photo by Quinton Sheppard

Community members showing their support for Gloucester’s newest park, Woodville, filled the colonial courthouse Jan. 2 to ask the county for its support in helping to fund electrical projects at the park.

After an hour-long citizen comment period, where the majority of those speaking praised what has transpired over recent months at Woodville, the Gloucester County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to approve a Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) Land and Water Conservation Fund Grant resolution, pledging matching funds of $300,000 to complete a three-phase electrical project at the park.

Gloucester’s Parks, Recreation and Tourism director Carol Steele said the grant and matching dollars, if approved by DCR, will pay for electrical power to be brought to the park, electrical lines to be run underground, lighting for two ball fields, and a small amount left over for playground equipment.

"Woodville is not a project of entitlement," Steele said. "It is a project of partnership." She said she has a great sense of pride in what the community has done and encouraged the board of supervisors to be a part of that.

"We are at a crossroads where we need some capital funds that are very difficult to raise in the community," she added. However, she noted that she and other county staff will keep looking under every stone for grant funds, donations and sponsorships to continue much of the other work that still will need to be done at Woodville.

If the latest DCR grant is approved, it will not only provide lighting for groups such as Baystars Soccer and the Gloucester Youth Football League evening practices and games, but will also get the fountain going and better utilize the irrigation system for the park’s gardens and turf on its playing fields.