The Celebration of Public Spaces grants were awarded to:
- City of Ava: $24,479 to improve the municipal park in the Douglas County seat with ADA-compliant, inclusive equipment and a two-bay swing set.
- City of Buffalo: $13,850 to renovate restrooms and add baby-changing stations at the public park in the Dallas County seat.
- Douglas County Council on Aging: $22,070 to build accessible, raised community garden beds where seniors can grow produce.
- Eleven Point Valley Community Center: $25,000 to create a new playground in the Oregon County community of Thomasville where the playground was destroyed in 2017 flooding.
- Eminence R-1 School District: $25,000 to replace unsafe equipment at the Shannon County school’s public park playground.
- Greenfield R-IV School District: $21,722 to build a community garden space at the elementary school in Dade County.
- Hammond Mill Camp Inc.: $24,801 to improve the historic camp’s bathhouse and dining hall in rural Ozark County.
- Niangua TLC: $25,000 to complete fencing around the playground and improve security for pre-K through 8th-grade students.
- Oak Hill R-1 School District: $25,000 to upgrade playground equipment and resurface the walking trail at the rural Dent County school.
- Ozark Greenways: $18,078 to improve flood-damaged sections of the Frisco Highline Trail in Polk County.
- Southwest Missouri Coalition of Charities and Community Services: $25,000 to create a small park and repair the historic gazebo in Stotts City, a community in Lawrence County.
Julia Dorothy Coover, a 30-year Commerce employee, founded the Louis L. and Julia Dorothy Coover Charitable Foundation in 1992 to honor her husband’s memory. With these projects, the Coover Charitable Foundation has awarded nearly $8 million in grants to benefit the Ozarks since its partnership with the CFO began in 2001.
“This year’s focus on improving public spaces is a natural fit for rural Missouri, where the region’s beauty and outdoor experiences rank among our state’s most valued assets,” said Jill Reynolds, senior vice president at Commerce Trust.
Special Series: Heading Outside to Help