The Santa Cruz County Department of Parks, Open Space and Cultural Services has received a $395,000 grant to construct an outdoor environmental education area and interpretive trail adjacent to the planned Felton Library.

The grant is one of only 39 local projects awarded statewide by California State Parks from a total of $10 million allocated as part of the California Outdoor Environmental Education Facilities Grant Program. Funded by the 2002 Resources Bond Act (Proposition 40), the highly competitive grant program provides assistance to local agencies and community-based organizations for the development of outdoor environmental education facilities.

“A library with an adjacent park is a first in the county,” Supervisor Bruce McPherson said. “When you can pair the great programming and resources you find inside Santa Cruz Public Libraries with outdoor and environmental literacy and programming, it’s a win-win for the community and our youth.”

As part of the park design process, County Parks invites members of the public to attend a community meeting on June 14, 6 p.m.-7:30 p.m. at Felton Community Hall Meeting Room, 6191 Highway 9, Felton.

The Felton Library Nature Discovery Park will include an outdoor learning space, interactive nature discovery zones, and an interpretive nature loop trail. The new project is aligned with the Parks Department’s Draft Strategic Plan (available at www.scparks.com). Project partners include Felton Library Friends, the Santa Cruz Public Library, the County Department of Public Works, and the San Lorenzo Valley Water District.

The new Felton Library is expected to break ground later this year. For more information, please visit: www.feltonlibraryfriends.org/new-library

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