Key Takeaways from OPRA

Neil Schwart, Public Works Market Leader, and Amy Elsea, Director of Business Development, recently attended the OPRA conference in Sandusky, Ohio, where they gained valuable insights into the pivotal role of Parks & Recreation in shaping communities' present and future. A key concern that resonated was the staffing challenges faced by most Parks & Recreation departments, which often operate with constrained budgets. The surge in popularity post-Covid has heightened the demand for their services, creating a pressing need for additional support and personnel.

During their attendance at sessions such as "Cracking the Code: The Not-So-Secret Fundamentals of Grant Funding," "Multimodal Transportation Project Success Guide for Parks," and "Manage the Best Way – Your Way," the importance of grant funding emerged as a central theme. The sessions provided a foundational understanding of the value of applying for grants, emphasizing that while the process is time-consuming, the ultimate payoff is worth the effort.

It was evident that numerous Parks & Recreation departments across the state are eager to pursue grant funding but need more resources. CESO is positioned to serve as a valuable resource and guide through the intricacies of the grant application process, aiding in securing the necessary funding. With the growing recognition of park systems as a quality-of-life benefit for communities, CESO also brings its expertise in trail and park design to assist communities in addressing the challenges they face.

The partnership with CESO initiates by supporting your team in identifying relevant funding opportunities and extends through the entire project lifecycle. CESO can act as your partner at various stages of the process:

1. Sourcing:
Guiding you in identifying opportunities from private and regional grants, tailoring them to specific project types, and assisting in the submission process.

2. Rationale:
Creating accurate estimation of costs and schedule from the project's inception.

3. Application:
Providing clear and accurate information on the community value of your project to strengthen the application.

4. Support:
Collaborating after submission to ensure adherence to budget and schedule commitments and maintain the integrity of the funding.

CESO is eager for the opportunity to contribute to the success of Parks & Recreation departments, recognizing the integral role they play in enhancing the well-being of communities. Please contact Amy Elsea for more information on Grant Funding support.

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