Cleveland Parks and Recreation has been awarded the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation’s Recreational Educational Benchmark Tier II.
Parks And Recreation Director Patti Petitt said she has been wanting to receive the distinction ever since TDEC started its benchmarking program about five years ago.
“I am just thrilled,” Petitt said. “ I just see so many opportunities for the recreation department. I have so many plans I want to do, and this is going to help us get closer to those plans.”
Although she had wanted to apply for the benchmark program, it was not until last year when the city had Tim Passmore as an intern that all the information could be compiled.
“The city had an intern who was willing to help me with it, and he gathered a lot of the information for me,” Pettit said.
The department submitted a report via email to TDEC outlining its organizational structure, employee and safety handbooks, partnerships, strategic plan, programs and other details.
The report was submitted last November. After receiving feedback on some additional elements that were needed, Pettit said the department resubmitted its application in May.
Pettit was notified in April that Cleveland Parks And Recreation would be receiving the distinction.
An official certification was not presented until last week at a conference Petitt attended.
Cleveland will remain a Tier II program for the next five years.
This distinction will help the parks and recreation department when it applies for grants with TDEC. Petitt said the Tier II distinction gives Cleveland an automatic 10 points in the decision process.
“When we apply for a grant, they have a criteria that they go by,” Petitt said.
Showing multiple uses for one facility also increases the points toward being selected to receive the grant.
A TDEC grant will fund 50 percent of the Mosby Park Pool and restroom renovations. Pettit said TDEC grant are matching grants, which require the government entity to contribute the same amount of money to the project.
“We hope to have Mosby done by April,” Petitt said.
Departments can apply for TDEC grants every two years.
Next year, Petitt hopes to apply for a grant to replace playground equipment and the tennis courts at Deer Park.
“That is one of our most utilized parks and its getting old,” Petitt said.
Passmore has since moved from Cleveland to pursue his Doctorate degree. Petitt said she would be sending him a picture of the certificate.