Oklahoma City to grant water credits in parks program

Oklahoma City has included a program in its new budget for water credits for neighborhoods participating in a parks program. Neighborhoods can use volunteers to water landscaping in parks and medians in their area, and the city will give the neighborhood association a $1,000 water bill credit.
BY MICHAEL KIMBALL mkimball@opubco.com Published: June 23, 2012
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If your neighborhood can provide the volunteers to water the flowers at your local park, Oklahoma City is willing to foot the bill.

Oklahoma City included $100,000 worth of $1,000 water bill credits in its new annual budget for the program, run through the city's Parks and Recreation Department.

Eligible neighborhood associations can apply for the annual credit, and officials hope they put it to good use by watering flowers and other landscaping features in city parks and medians.

“For a long time, neighborhoods have recognized their responsibility in helping the city beautify public places,” said Georgie Rasco, executive director of the Oklahoma City Neighborhood Alliance. “They put hours and hours and many, many dollars into beautifying public medians and parks not only because it benefits them as a neighborhood, but it benefits us as a city.”

But the cost of water can be a burden on families and neighborhood associations, Rasco said.

The city's move can provide some relief and renewed incentive to chip in.

“It's absolutely going to be hailed as a great big ‘thank you' by the neighborhoods that have been footing these bills all along, and it's going to be a catalyst that's going to allow other groups that just didn't have the resources to pay those kinds of water bills,” Rasco said.

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