LCRA, Bluebonnet award $22,104 to Prairie Lea ISD for new playground equipment


LCRA and Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative representatives present a $22,104 grant to the Prairie Lea Parent Teacher Organization for a new playground equipment. The grant is part of LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program. Pictured, front row from left to right, are: Tamika Meraz, Prairie Lea PTO treasurer holding Elitatia Santos; Samantha Santos, PTO president; Kay Markert, PTO volunteer coordinator; Lori A. Berger, LCRA Board member; Larry Markert, Prairie Lea ISD superintendent; Joyce Buckner, Bluebonnet representative; and Jill Russell, PTO vice president. Back row, from left to right: Milton Shaw, Bluebonnet director; Pat Johnson, grandparent/volunteer holding Reid Russell; Jack Johnson, grandparent/volunteer holding Everett Russell (not shown); Beverly Watwood, Prairie Lea Baptist Church representative; and Helen Long, Prairie Lea ISD school board member.

PRAIRIE LEA – The Prairie Lea Parent Teacher Organization soon will be able to update the playground at Prairie Lea Independent School District with new, safer equipment, thanks to a $22,104 community development grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority and Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative. 

The grant, along with $5,526 in matching funds, will enable the PTO to replace the current playground equipment, which is in poor shape and needs to be removed. The new playscape will include slides and multi-level climbing features, providing activities for children of different ages and abilities.  

“Thanks to this grant, we will be able to provide a place for local children to grow, learn and play on new equipment that will stimulate their imaginations,” said Jill Russell, Prairie Lea PTO vice president. “The new playscape also will be physically challenging, which will help develop their motor skills.” 

Students from Fentress, Stairtown and Prairie Lea attend Prairie Lea schools.  

“This is a very small community that does not have a park, so this is the only playground available to our elementary school students,” Russell said. “The Prairie Lea School playground is the only one that serves the 600 or so people in this area.” 

The community grant is one of a number of grants recently awarded through LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program. The program provides economic development and community assistance grants to cities, counties, volunteer fire departments, regional development councils and other nonprofit organizations in LCRA’s electric and water service areas. The program is part of LCRA’s effort to give back to the communities it serves. Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative is one of LCRA’s wholesale electric customers and a partner in the grant program. 

Applications for the next round of grants are due Jan. 31. More information is available at  

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