Several land acquisition projects in Thurston County got a boost this week in the form of state grants.

The Washington state Recreation and Conservation Funding Board awarded more than $126 million to cities, counties, state and federal agencies and other groups for outdoor recreation facilities and conservation efforts.

Thurston County projects received a combined total of $12.3 million. The largest single grant was $3 million to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife to buy 900 acres west of Tenino that is home to endangered Taylor’s checkerspot butterflies, Mazama pocket gophers and Puget blue butterflies.

The department also got $1.1 million to buy 138 acres along Mima Creek near Rochester that is home to the endangered Oregon spotted frog as well as chinook and coho salmon.

Nearby, the state’s Department of Natural Resources got $2.7 million to buy 189 acres near its Mima Mounds Natural Area Preserve. It also was granted $434,375 to restore grassland and woodland habitat in the area.

Capitol Land Trust got $843,000 to buy 220 acres of wetland and forest in Tenino, including 1.5 miles of Deschutes River shoreline that is habitat for salmon and elk.

The city of Olympia got $1 million to pay for 59 acres it previously acquired at LBA Park. The city also was awarded $427,990 to build a mile-long trail through Grass Lake Nature Park, $500,000 to build a sprayground at Lions Park, and $349,999 to install synthetic surfacing and lighting at Stevens Field.

Fish and Wildlife also got money to install parking, paths and restrooms at Offut Lake. 

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