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Fairfax receives $98,000 for park

Highgate gets money for playground work

By JOSEPH G. Cote Messenger Staff Writer

FAIRFAX - The Fairfax Community Recreation Park Project has been awarded its second straight grant from the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) to develop playing fields and a com­munity recreational park.

Fairfax received a $98,102 matching grant of the over $548,000 given to Vermont towns by LWCF, a division of the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation.

Last year, the town won a $70,000 matching grant from the same fund.

In 1996, the town and school purchased a 22-acre parcel of land from the Central Vermont Public Service for $40,000. Two years later, the school purchased an additional 3.8 acres from Bernard Keefe, with a $58,000 price tag, project director Carol Lizotte said last summer.

When completed the park will contain four Little League fields that will double as soccer fields; two practice fields, one of which will be transformed into an outdoor skating rink during the winter months; a paved bike path; a gravel walking path; and possibly a number of historic markers, according to Lizotte.

Fund-raising efforts for a paved bike path in the town have been underway since the early 1990s.

Fairfax was not the only Franklin County township on the list of grant recipients, though. The Highgate Playground Improvement Project will receive $37,000 to replace a current playground with a newer and safer facility.

Since its inception, the LWCF has granted more than $26 million to over 100 Vermont communities to develop or rehabilitate more than 500 recreational projects, according to the Agency of Natural Resources.