LAKE MILTON STATE PARK NatureWorks grant from ODNR to fund amphitheater project

The park can begin clearing land in the fall.
LAKE MILTON -- Thanks to a state grant, Lake Milton State Park will build a new amphitheater on the north side of the lake this fall.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources awarded a NatureWorks grant worth $169,663 to the park. The grant allows the Craig Beach-based park to begin clearing land in early fall.
"The park has to locally match 25 percent of the funds," said park manager Barbara Neill. "The grant will provide the rest of the support."
Neill said Lake Milton State Park holds fund-raisers such as wine-tasting events and beach parties to meet the 25 percent goal.
She said the grant's application process included questions about the area.
"You receive a booklet with questions about the area's demographics as well as the nature of your project and its intended use," Neill said.
A main way to fund new projects for the park is through grants like NatureWorks, she added.
What it does
The NatureWorks bond issue program funds major renovations and improvements for Ohio's state and local parks, forests and wildlife areas.
"First-time applicants like Craig Beach have a better shot at receiving the grant," Neill said. "There is a point system involved and first-time applicants have more points than someone who has applied for a grant before."
Neill also said special volunteers contribute time to help build projects.
"We have 300 volunteers who help complete projects," Neill said.
So far, the planning for the amphitheater is still conceptual. Several computer-aided designs have been rendered.
The covered amphitheater will host educational programs, dances and concerts with ground-level lawn seating. The park will provide public parking as well as public boat docks.
"People will be able to pull up by boat and watch concerts and performances," Neill said. "This amphitheater will educate the youth and give them something to do."