The Ashland Parks Foundation has awarded more than $16,000 in youth and adult scholarships.

At its annual meeting on May 18, foundation board members met with 15 organizations seeking funding for community programs and youth scholarships.

“There is a true need to assist kids in accessing sports and education programs,” Katharine Cato, APF president, said in a release.

The board heard short presentations from organizational leaders about how local programs change lives and enhance wellness.

The foundation regularly provides scholarships for activities ranging from baseball to soccer, art classes and swim lessons, ice rink programs, outdoor educational opportunities and field trips for elementary school kids.

The foundation, which was created in 1995, has also contributed to building the ice rink, cleaning up the duck ponds in Lithia Park, enhancing the Japanese Garden and many other improvement projects in the park system.

The Ashland Parks Foundation board is made up of five community volunteers. For more information on the Ashland Parks Foundation, see www.ashlandparksfoundation.com.