Local groups that have received Heritage Conservation Grants from Douglas County in the past three years have raised nearly twice that much again from other funding sources by using the local funds as leverage to secure additional grants.
Bobbi Rahder, program manager for the Heritage Conservation Council, which administers the grant program, told Douglas County commissioners Wednesday that since the grant program was established in 2011, the county has awarded $834,050 for various projects. But those grants have helped secure nearly $1.5 million, or about 182 percent, in additional resources.
Those include private donations, state and federal grants, donated land grants and easements, and other tangible forms of in-kind donations.
One of the largest of those was $230,000 that the Douglas County Historical Society received from outside sources after the county invested $120,000 over two years to develop a permanent exhibit at the Watkins Museum at 1047 Massachusetts.
Rahder's report also listed $290,581 in outside resources that have been committed for the Hamilton Conservation Easement on 276 acres of farmland northwest of Eudora. The county invested $22,300 in that project.
Next week, the Heritage Conservation Council will formally announce the opening of the 2014 grant period. The commission included $325,000 in this year's budget for the grant program. The council plans to make its recommendations for grant awards in late April, and commissioners are scheduled to vote on those grants May 7.