The Georgia Board of Natural Resources put its stamp of approval Tuesday on funding for 13 land conservation, restoration and parks projects across the state.

More than $21.4 million to pay for the projects will come from the Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Fund, raised from a sales tax on sporting goods the state’s voters overwhelmingly approved as a constitutional amendment in 2018.

In four previous cycles of funding going back to 2020, the fund has allocated more than $97 million to projects in 54 counties, Soheila Naji, the program’s coordinator, told board members before Tuesday’s unanimous vote. Those state funds were accompanied by $175 million in matching money put up by the state and local government agencies, recreation authorities, and nonprofit groups that applied for grants, Naji said.

Six of the 13 grants are going to the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR), with the rest going to cities, counties, the Jekyll Island Authority, and the Trust for Public Land.

Here is the list of projects funded through the 2023-24 round of grants:

City of Ringgold Slabtown Park and South Chickamauga Blueway $811,500.00
City of St. Marys Tabby Trail for Eco-tourism and Stewardship $1,735,400.00
GADNR, Coastal Resources Division Noyes Cut Ecosystem Restoration Project, Phase II $1,321,500.00
GADNR, Wildlife Resources Division Mocama Tract addition to Ceylon Wildlife Management Area $2,100,000.00
GADNR, Wildlife Resources Division Dugdown Mountain Corridor-Treat Mountain Expansion $2,100,000.00
GADNR, Wildlife Resources Division Conasauga Wildlife Management Area – Springbank Tract $550,000.00
GADNR, Wildlife Resources Division Habitat Restoration on State Lands, Phase 3 $629,500.00
GADNR, Wildlife Resources Division Outdoor Recreation Enhancements on State Public Fishing Areas $1,600,000.00
Glynn County Coast Guard Beach Park $3,000,000.00
Jekyll Island State Park Authority From Golf to Wildlife Corridor Recreational Park $1,602,300.00
Lanier County Improving Recreation & Water Quality $1,491,057.00
Pike County Parks and Recreation Authority Pike County Recreation Complex Improvements $1,500,000.00
Trust for Public Land Chattahoochee RiverLands Regional Trailhead $3,000,000.00

The project list heads next to the Georgia House and Senate budget subcommittees with jurisdiction over the DNR for final approval.

Dave Williams writes for Capitol Beat News Service

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