Hillcrest Skatepark

Pictured are the current ramps in Jackson’s Hillcrest Skatepark.

JACKSON — The Jackson County Community Foundation (JCCF) has awarded its 2021 grants to four local projects: skatepark upgrades, outdoor accessories, mobile food pantry, and a MakerSpace.

The grants, which are funding four community projects this year, total more than $11,000 that ultimately benefit the community.

The JCCF was created to give back, inspire pride, and promote development in Jackson County now and for future generations.

This year, the City of Jackson was awarded $4,820 for a project to upgrade the Hillcrest Skatepark.

Traci Plants, who works for the City of Jackson as an executive assistant/projects coordinator, said the upgrades to the skatepark involve adding additional, smaller ramps known as “quarter pipes” that are better suited for the beginner level athlete.

“This project came about when three students in the 5th grade at Northview Elementary (Reid Fain, Carson Strickland and Harley Harrison) took it upon themselves to write a letter to the Mayor (Randy Evans) requesting improvements to the skatepark and expressing how much they enjoy skating there,” explained Plants. “The Mayor and myself met with the students last spring at Northview Elementary to find out more details about their ideas for the park.”

Plants said, “They shared with us their request for smaller, beginner-level ramps. When this grant opportunity came about, we applied in hopes of fulfilling the request from these three boys (now in middle-school) to make improvements to the skatepark. The improvement plans are still being finalized and are targeted for spring of 2022.”

The next grant in the amount of $4,633 was awarded to the City of Wellston. The grant will be used toward a project in downtown for outdoor accessories. Those accessories include the purchase of benches, picnic tables, outdoor message centers and more for the downtown historic district.

The third grant, totaling $500, went to the Jackson City Library. The library plans to use the grant for a MakerSpace, an area for patrons to create items and build curiosity in areas such as science, engineering, while being a resource for student projects.

The final grant in the amount of $2,000 went to God’s Hands At Work for its mobile food pantry.

God’s Hands at Work is registered as a local 501©(3) nonprofit organization, who’s mission is to serve as God’s hands when needs arise in the region. The group serves Gallia, Jackson, Vinton and Meigs Counties in Ohio and Mason County in West Virginia. The group operated solely from community donations, and grants.

To support the above projects, JCCF partnered with the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio’s I’m a Child of Appalachia® Fund.

“We want to support organizations working to expand opportunities for our neighbors,” said Cindy Kidd of the Jackson County Community Foundation. “The Jackson County Community Fund invests homegrown dollars in ideas benefitting our local communities, and we are thrilled to see the difference our 2021 grant partners with make across Jackson.”

Kidd added, “Donations made now will be matched dollar-for-dollar by FAO, doubling your impact for Jackson communities.”

If you are interested in learning more or making a gift to support the Jackson County Community Foundation, please visit www.AppalachianOhio.org/Jackson or contact 740.753.1111 or info@ffao.org.

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