Posted: April 20, 2016
Last week, our team met with our champions to discuss additional projects for this summer. One of the most interesting projects that they proposed was a feasibility study for improving Peddie Park, just outside of Lock Haven. The park is a gathering place for softball players and outdoor enthusiasts. It sits right on the West Branch of the Susquehanna and has the potential to be a perfect outdoor destination for citizens of Lock Haven and tourists from other towns.
Coincidentally, the Planning Department of Clinton County had issued an RFP for grants focused on increasing tourism and overnight stays within the community, which was due just five days after our meeting. One of our champions thought that we should try to apply for this grant to get funding for our feasibility study. I was very excited for the opportunity to write a grant and secure funding for our project. I happily volunteered to do this and couldn't wait to get started.
For the next few days, I worked hard trying to produce a decent grant proposal for our project. I wrote a needs statement, project plan, budget, timeline, and a cover letter for the proposal. I finally finished two days before the proposal was due, very satisfied with my work. The next step would be getting a letter of support from a leader in the Parks and Recreation department of Lock Haven. This task was left up to one of our champions, so I did not have any direct contact with Parks and Rec.
Later that day, I heard back from our champion, who informed me that a feasibility study had already been done for Peddie Park and that the proposal would not be accepted because of that. Upon hearing this, I was very disappointed and felt like the last few days of my life had been wasted.
After thinking it over for a while, I decided that this was a good learning experience. Community work often turns out like this. Grants are not always accepted, and many problems can arise during the writing process. Writing the proposal was excellent practice for the future and drastically improved my confidence for future projects. Even though the feasibility study has already been done for Peddie Park, more work must now be done to complete the projects suggested in the feasibility study. Our team will move forward with this work during the summer and will hopefully produce great results.