Tippah County News

Town of Walnut to get nearly $1 million for Richardson Sportsplex

The Town of Walnut is set to get nearly $1 million for the Richardson Sportsplex

Froman announcement from Governor Reeves sent to Tippah News:

The town of Walnut is getting nearly $1 million to go towards the Richardson Sportsplex and Outdoor Recreation Park.

The development, on the north side of Hwy 72, is getting $996,300 from the Outdoor Stewardship Trust Fund. This project will enhance existing park construction by funding a 1-mile walking trail and an outdoor archery facility within the 42-acre Richardson Sportsplex and Outdoor Recreation Center in the Town of Walnut.

There are over $3 million in matching funds assisting this project from the Town of Walnut.

Governor Tate Reeves today announced that during its most recent public meeting, the Mississippi Outdoor Stewardship Trust Fund Board of Trustees (MOSTF) approved its first selection of grants totaling $9.8 million for 21 conservation and outdoor recreation projects. This initial allocation of funding will be matched by more than $31.4 million from other sources.

“I was proud to sign legislation that created the Mississippi Outdoor Stewardship Trust Fund,” said Governor Tate Reeves. “The Fund is already paying dividends to communities all over Mississippi. These grants will be critical to preserving Mississippi’s natural beauty so that future generations can enjoy it.”

The competitive grants chosen include a diversity of projects that meet the goals of improving state parks and outdoor recreation trails, improving access to public waters and lands, and preserving, enhancing, and restoring our native wildlife and fish resources and their critical habitats across Mississippi. This investment will strengthen communities around the state, enhance the state’s $8 billion outdoor recreation economy, and support more than 79,000 jobs.

The MOSTF was created and funded by the Legislature and later signed into law by Governor Reeves in 2022. During the 2023 legislative session, through strong bi-partisan support, the program received an additional $15 million in funding. The Board of Trustees, comprised of geographically diverse appointments from the Governor and Lieutenant Governor, oversees project selection and disbursement of funding.

MOSTF Chair, Van Ray of Yazoo City, said, “We were pleased to receive over 100 project applications in our first round. There was no shortage of excellent projects, but limited funding made it very competitive. The Board worked very hard to determine which projects would receive funding based on a comprehensive set of criteria.”

MOSTF Vice-Chair, Denny Terrell of Kosciusko added, “Since there was so much interest in the program from communities and partners around our state, we are thankful the Legislature increased the funding level to $15 million. These funds will become available July 1, 2023, and provide more opportunities for funding other conservation and outdoor recreation projects in the future.” 

The property donation on the north side of Highway 72 where the Sportsplex and outdoor recreation park will be located was donated from the Curtis and Billie Richardson family in 2019 to set the groundwork for this project.

Jon Ross Myers

Jon Ross Myers is the executive editor and publisher of the Mississippi News Network, Mississippi's largest digital only media company. He can be reached at editor@tippahnews.com

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