“We also just added another shade structure at Eastridge Park using a grant,” Briggs said.
Contractors recently completed the shade structure installation over the play equipment in the park. That addition, as well as the new drinking fountain at Eastridge, was funded through a Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust grant the city received in partnership with Norman Regional Health System. The grant was established to encourage healthy living and outdoor activity.
Many of the current park projects are being funded by in-lieu money freed up by a charter vote. That money was previously set aside to purchase land for parks. In cases where no land is available, the money can now be used for park upgrades.
Lewis said the diversity of funding sources and community partnerships have been a boon in improving the city’s park system.