DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Five Rivers MetroParks has been awarded $1.45 million to fund various projects in West Dayton and Trotwood.

The Urban and Community Forestry Program is a new federal grant program to support conservation efforts nationwide. The organization is one of 385 grant recipients across the country expected to use the funding to increase biodiversity and protect land in urban greenspaces.

“These federal investments support the very work we do at Five Rivers MetroParks, such as climate change mitigation, remediation and reduction of legacy pollution, and the development of critical clean water and energy infrastructure,” said Karen Hesser, CEO, Five Rivers MetroParks.

Grant-funded work will begin in the MetroParks in 2024, specifically Possum Creek MetroPark and Spring Run Conservation Area. Work includes removing invasive species and reintroducing native species to the area, along with conducting wildlife surveys.

Possum Creek is 556 acres of former farmland, and a 1930s historical amusement park. Spring Run is 550 acres of a former golf course and land that was originally planned to be a landfill. Both locations will see increased restoration efforts due to the grant.

“This project will help MetroParks protect forest plant communities and sensitive natural habitats as we find balanced ways to provide access and recreational and educational opportunities to the visiting public,” Hesser said. “In addition, this project will support MetroParks’ diversity, equity and inclusion goals by serving underrepresented and disadvantaged communities in the Dayton area.”

To find more information on grant funding, click here.