WEOC is in need of community support
The Appalachian Regional Commission announced the winners of the Gems of Appalachia Initiative: Gateways to the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area grant competition.
The “Gems of Appalachia” grants competition is targeted to foster partnerships between gateway communities and neighboring public land managers to develop the tourism potential of Appalachia’s most cherished landscapes while protecting their natural ecosystems. The competition is part of ARC’s overall effort to advance asset-based economic development in Appalachia. ARC contributed $100,000, and Kentucky and Tennessee each contributed $50,000 to the grant competition, which targeted communities located in Kentucky’s McCreary, Wayne, and Whitley Counties, and in Tennessee’s Scott, Fentress, Pickett, and Morgan Counties.
Project Title/No.: Enhanced Information Center in Pickett County, Tennessee
Grantee: The Borderlands Foundation, Byrdstown, TN
A proposal from the Borderlands Foundation to upgrade the visitor experience at the Pickett County Welcome Center and Heritage Museum, soon to be located on Highway 111, was selected for funding. The organization will receive $11,940 to implement a plan that will encourage Dale Hollow Lake visitors to explore Pickett County and the Big South Fork area. Dale Hollow Lake attracts three million visitors each year and more than 9,000 vehicles pass by the proposed Welcome Center per day, though most continue straight home without exploring the rest of the area. By increasing the visibility of the Big South Fork’s attractions, visitors will stay longer, visit more often and extend the tourist season into spring and fall.
The ARC grant will be matched with $3,060 from local sources for a total project cost of $15,000.
Project Title/No.: Tennessee Trailblazers Tour
Grantee: Sgt. York Patriotic Foundation and Friends of Cordell Hull
A proposal from the Sergeant York Patriotic Foundation to develop a driving trail highlighting the Alvin C. York Historic Area in Fentress County and the Cordell Hull Birthplace in Pickett County was selected for funding. The organization will receive $40,000 to create and install directional signage to each site, and develop interpretive audio and visual tools that tell the stories of Sgt. York – a World War I hero, and Hull – the founding father of the United Nations. By connecting these two sites, visitors will be encouraged to explore the area’s multiple cultural assets.
The ARC grant will be matched with $10,000 from local sources for a total project cost of $50,000.