The world headed outside during the COVID-19 pandemic, helping emphasize the value of public outdoor spaces to health, happiness and community togetherness. Yet another reality that was realized was that many of these places across the Ozarks could use some repairs and revitalization — issues that often had been deferred due to significant price tags.
In response to these needs, the Community Foundation of the Ozarks, in partnership with the Louis L. and Julia Dorothy Coover Charitable Foundation and Commerce Trust Company, awarded $250,000 to 11 projects across the Ozarks that will improve outdoor public spaces for residents and visitors.
“Our communities were reminded of the value of outdoor public spaces during the pandemic. We were honored to be part of spiffing up spaces when local resources were not available in rural southern Missouri communities,” says Bridget Dierks, vice president of programs at the CFO. “I very much look forward to visiting some of the newly refreshed playgrounds, parks, and bike trails this year. The CFO, in partnership with the Coover Foundation, is proud to support this work and pleased at the long-term impact it will have upon rural public spaces.”
We visited three communities to learn how this funding has impacted them. Find the stories below.
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