Monday, December 14, 2009

Ottawa Parks May Provide Free Services to Low Income Familits

Ottawa county parks
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based on a news article in the Holland Sentinel

If the Ottawa County Board of Commissioners gives final approval, holders of Michigan Bridge Cards may be eligible for free admission to the county parks. Low-income persons receiving assistance through Family Independence, Supplemental Security, Food Assistance and State Disability may hold these cards.

Ottawa currently charges an annual fee for entrance into all lakeshore parks: Tunnel, Kirk, Rosy Mound, North Beach and the Riverside Park boat launch. That fee is $12 for residents, and double that for non-residents. Those with Bridge cards will now be able to enter at no charge.

The motivation isn't completely altruistic. The Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund grants are awarded partly on the basis of a point system to assess the quality of the application. Those who can provide services in urban areas and to those who may have less access to outdoor recreation, will score higher on this portion of the application.

Commissioner Dennis Swartout said that low-income people who may not qualify for Bridge Cards may also be considered for free admission, “If it’s good for these people, hopefully we can take the time to look for other low-income people,” he said.

See Ottawa County Parks
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