Morganton’s Catawba River Soccer Complex plays host to a multitude of regional and local sports tournaments, games, and events throughout the year. It is a facility that is utilized by schools and local and regional sports organizations, and has fostered growth and participation in competitive sports in the area.

Morganton Parks and Recreation recently received a grant that will ensure the Catawba River Soccer Complex continues to remain a draw for regional and local events. The North Carolina Parks and Recreation Trust Fund (PARTF) awarded $385,000 to Morganton Parks and Recreation to aid in the completion of Phase III of the Catawba River Soccer Complex. The money will go toward building two new, multi-purpose sports fields, a new shelter and playground, expanding the dog park and an Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail Extension. Morganton’s grant for the soccer complex was ranked fifth out of the 50 proposals received by PARTF during this year’s grant cycle.

“We are honored to be selected as one of 27 recipients across the state to be awarded money in this PARTF grant cycle,” said Parks and Recreation Director Rob Winkler. “Our soccer complex is one of our many incredible facilities that has helped strengthen our community, improve Morganton’s quality of life and encourage our residents and visitors to get outdoors and enjoy Nature’s Playground. The Catawba River Soccer Complex is a tourism driver for the area, hosting a large number of games and tournaments throughout the year. Teams come in every weekend to play on the fields. This grant will help us expand our capability to host these events and games, further solidifying Morganton’s place as a regional leader in recreation.”

Susi Hamilton, Secretary of the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, saw firsthand how these grants impact communities during her time as a community planner.  “From our most rural areas to our largest towns and cities, PARTF grants instill new life into our communities and continue to benefit these areas for generations,” Hamilton said.

Local communities across the state applied for the grant to fund land acquisition, development and renovation of public parks and recreation areas. The N.C. Parks and Recreation Authority considered 50 grant applications requesting a total $12.6 million. The maximum grant awarded for a single project under the program was $500,000. Awardees must match funds dollar-for-dollar for the awarded amount. 

“Robust recreational opportunities in our communities are more important than ever before,” said Dwayne Patterson, Director of the Division of State Parks and Recreation. “We look forward to seeing these projects come to fruition to improve our physical and mental health and the vitality of our communities.”

The Parks and Recreation Trust Fund is administered through the state Division of Parks and Recreation and was established in 1994 by the N.C. General Assembly. The North Carolina Parks and Recreation Trust Fund Authority approved the grants at its meeting held Friday, Aug. 24, in Raleigh.

Site plan for Phase III of the Catawba River Soccer Complex, which includes two multi-purpose fields, an Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail addition, a shelter, a dog park expansion and playground.

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