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DNR awards $40,000 grant to Friends of Ludington State Park playground project

The Michigan Department Resources (DNR) Parks and Recreation Division has awarded a $40,000 match program grant to Friends of Ludington State Park for the playground planned for the Hamlin Lake picnic area.

FLSP purchased the playground equipment in late 2017. Since then, FLSP has been working to raise the funds still needed to pay for the poured-in-place surfacing and other costs associated with the planned volunteer build.

In the past six weeks, donations from OxyChem and the Ludington Meijer Store also helped support this project.

The awards bring the FLSP to within about $25,000 of the $202,000 goal to construct the family friendly, highly accessible playground in early June.

In addition, the Ludington Convention Bureau’s 2018 Pure Ludington Brrrewfest took place in late January and Friends of Ludington State Park, which provides volunteers to help set up, tear down and staff the event, anticipates receiving a donation as the event’s designated charity.

Donations are still needed. “The goal is within sight,” Bob Sasin, FLSP president said.

He described the MDNR Partnership Match Program award as “great news.”

Matt Lincoln, MDNR program grant coordinator, also is pleased. “DNR looks forward to an enhanced visitor experience at the Hamlin Lake Day Use Area,” Lincoln said. “This family friendly playground will welcome children of all abilities.  Projects like this are testaments to what can be accomplished when private and public organizations come together to achieve a common goal.”

The two playscape playground will be located near the pavilion at the Hamlin Lake beach day use area. Sinclair Recreation designed the playground with input from FLSP and accessibility advocates Jamie Spore, 2016 Ms. Michigan Wheelchair, and former Miss Ludington Area Shelby Soberalski. Sinclair Recreation will supervise the volunteer build.

There are several ways to donate to the project. Donate using a credit card via the internet on the community foundation’s website, www.mason-foundation.org. Click on the “Give” button and follow instructions to donate to the FLSP playground project.

Donations by check may be sent to Friends of Ludington State Park, P.O. Box 123, Ludington, MI 49431, or to the Community Foundation for Mason County, P.O. Box 10, Ludington, MI, 49431. Include a note that the donation is for the FLSP playground project.

Friends of Ludington State Park is a 501(c)3 organization and donations to it are eligible for potential tax deductions.

Significant support for the FLSP project has also been provided by playground equipment maker GameTime, the Community Foundation for Mason County, Great Lakes Energy People Fund, the Ludington Visitors and Convention Bureau Pure Ludington Brrrewfest, The Youth Advisory Council of the Community Foundation for Mason County, several private foundation funds and numerous individual donors.

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