Hoping to draw tourists and provide activities for the residents of the Tri-City and Harlan County area, Tri-City Heritage Development Executive Director Bobbie Gothard said two new grants have now been received to accomplish some of these goals.
“We received a grant from Brush Fork Institute in the amount of $5,000 to construct a fishing ramp right off the walking path on KY 160 on Looney Creek in Benham,” said Gothard. “The funds will allow us to purchase the supplies to build the ramp, picnic tables and benches for people to use when fishing. The Boy Scouts are going to help by building bird houses to put along the creek bank and the Girl Scouts are working on butterfly boxes. We have a little money to do landscaping and there will be parking for three to four vehicles.”
Gothard said in that same grant there is money to purchase benches to be placed along Lynch’s Looney Creek in a project called the Looney Creek Experience. She said they will do landscaping, butterfly bushes and bird houses along the old depot area in Lynch.
“We are constantly working to build tourism and industry in our area,” said Gothard. “We’re hoping the fishing will encourage some entrepreneur to open a bait or fishing gear shop in the area. We are working to make our part of the county as attractive as we can so that tourists will want to come and visit all our wonderful attractions available throughout the county and improve the lives of our local folks as well.”
Gothard said also received from the Brushy Fork Institute was a $10,000 grant to start the development and planning stage of the Veterans Memorial Park in Cumberland. She said it will be called the Eastern Kentucky Veterans Memorial Park. The plans are already drawn and the next phase will be to start fund raising so that ideas can be put into motion.
Gothard went on to say veterans involved in the project are just beginning their fund raising to get the construction of the park in high gear. She said their goal is $250,000 for the first phase.
“Part of our veterans memorial will consist of a memorial wall,” said Veterans Park Committee Facilitator Cleon Cornett. “Part of our fund raising will be the selling of granite plaques to veterans or their families honoring veterans living or deceased to be placed on the wall. We think the cost will be approximately $200 to $250 each.”
Gothard said Tri-City Heritage Development is also working with Kentucky Adventure Tourism in developing a Trail Town designation for the city of Cumberland. She said the designation will tie in the Little Shepherd Trail, Kingdom Come State Park and Pine Mountain Trail together with the walking trail at the Benham School House Inn, the coal museum, Portal 31 and the Lynch walking trail.
“The purpose is to try and develop a bike trail in the Tri-Cities area, which we don’t have in this area,” said Gothard. “This will be another draw for tourism, as well as for our local folks to be able to use. This is in the beginning stages — we’re getting ready to do resolutions with the county and cities in this area to work toward this designation.”
For more information about the veterans memorial fund raising you may contact Gothard at 589-5151 or Cornett at 606-733-0029.
Reach Nola Sizemore at 606-573-4510 or at firstname.lastname@example.org