Culpeper Star-Exponent: House OKs $120,000 to spruce up Orange County Booster Park

CULPEPER STAR-EXPONENT, CLINT SCHEMMER

Help is on the way to revitalize Orange County’s Booster Park.

As part of a fiscal 2022 appropriations package the House of Representatives passed Thursday, $122,590 was secured by U.S. Rep. Abigail Spanberger to repair the county’s field, practice facility and concession stand.

Booster Park is Orange County’s only publicly-owned sports complex and multifunctional recreation facility, Spanberger noted in April when she wrote the House Appropriations Committee’s chairman and ranking member to request the grant.

Spanberger worked directly with Orange County officials to secure the money, which came in the form of Community Project Funding, an improved form of what used to be called a congressional earmark.

“I have heard directly from local officials about ongoing structural and facility needs at the park,” Spanberger said in a statement. “That’s why I am proud to lead this effort to secure new funding for improvements to Booster Park.”

Orange County Board of Supervisors Chairman James P. Crozier said the park—off State Route 20 next to the Orange County Airport—needs field improvements, fencing and kitchen updates to ensure its amenities are fully utilized.

“Booster Park is an essential cultural and social asset in Orange County, whether you are a parent, fitness enthusiast, business owner or nonprofit,” Crozier said. “We look forward to completing this revitalization project to ensure the park’s availability for generations to come.”

“Over half of our local middle and high school students played a sport at the 24-acre park in the last year,” he said. “Numerous youth organizations, nonprofits, food pantries, businesses, civic groups and families use the park for all kinds of events, from community wide celebrations to career fairs.”

Calling the park “a vital community center for recreation, sports and gatherings,” Spanberger said that “one of the most important investments we can make is in the next generation of Virginians, as well as their families.”

Spanberger thanked Orange officials for their commitment to making the county “a stronger place to live.” The lawmaker vowed to keep working to move the appropriation through Congress, and find new ways to support Virginia’s children, families and communities.

The House’s fiscal 2022 appropriations package now advances to the U.S. Senate for consideration.

Spanberger worked with leaders in all 10 counties of Central Virginia’s 7th Congressional District to gather community-focused requests for her submissions.

This year, the House of Representatives began allowing Community Project Funding requests to ensure direct, local engagement in its annual appropriations process, Spanberger’s office said.

Projects must demonstrate significant local support, be sponsored by local or state government entities or nonprofit groups, and otherwise meet the qualifications for federal grant funding.

Recently, Spanberger joined a bipartisan majority of House members in voting to pass the INVEST in America Act, which includes more than $22.7 million for Central Virginia transportation and infrastructure projects that she secured.

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