Last night’s check presentation was the accumulation of a yearlong collaborative effort between myself and the CDC as well as Heidi Cunningham and the Village of Senecaville. The combined efforts of all involved helped to secure a NatureWorks Grant, through the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, for $21,705.00. On the surface it appears to be nothing more than a donation, when in reality the process was much more strenuous than anyone had anticipated. The primary issue was funding. Under a NatureWorks Grant the entity awarded the grant must first spend the money in order to receive grant funding. This is called a reimbursable grant. The problem with this setup is that many small communities lack the necessary funding required to buy the playground equipment. As a result most do not qualify for the grant. My organization however does have the money, but here is the kicker; the CDC can not apply for the grant, as it is not a government entity. Therefore we have the money but can not apply, whereas Senecaville can apply but does not have the money. So I created a work around that solved this conundrum while increasing the collaborative effort between the CDC and Senecaville. The solution was for Senecaville to apply for the grant (wrote by myself and Heidi) and for my organization to donate the money to Senecaville to buy the play-pods. Once the pods have been installed and Senecaville has been reimbursed by ODNR, the village will give the money back to the CDC. Why give the money back? Because going forward this is how the CDC will ensure that EVERY small community will receive upgraded play round equipment. If the CDC simply donated $21,000 to every play ground, we would quickly run out of money. By utilizing this method of operating the CDC will be able to setup a revolving “Play Ground Improvement Fund” and use the same money over and over again to purchase new playground equipment. Together we CAN make a difference.