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Grant will help fund park improvements

The Harrison County Community Foundation received good news last week: Harrison County was one of two counties in the state to receive the Kellogg grant, totaling nearly $200,000. The money will be a part of the Indiana Access to Recreation Grant which will total $517,653.
The grant was awarded for exceptional projects on municipally owned properties with more to offer than standard ADA regulations.
‘I’m delighted to announce that today,’ Steve Gilliland, executive director of the HCCF, said Monday morning to the Harrison County Commissioners. ‘We’ll stretch the money as far as we can by getting bids.’
The grant, less than what was applied for, will be used by the Harrison County Parks Dept. for improvements at Hayswood Nature Reserve, Buffalo Trace Park, Harrison Poolside Park and South Harrison Park, as well as at O’Bannon Woods State Park. Buffalo Trace Park and O’Bannon Woods State Park will receive the most money for improvements, according to Gilliland.
A wildlife observatory trail will be built at O’Bannon Woods, Gilliland said. ‘It will be a pretty neat trail,’ he said.
Other improvements at the state park include natural pavement, forest walkways, overpasses/bridges, interpretive signs, fragrance gardens and handicapped accessibilities, totaling $256,707.
Buffalo Trace Park just east of Palmyra will add two log cabins for the convenience of its visitors.
‘This is the first endeavor we’ve had to offer cabins,’ said Claudia Howard, executive director of the Harrison County Parks Dept.
The process will begin with the hiring of a project manager to go through the bidding process before construction can begin. Other park improvements at Buffalo Trace include a floating dock, handicap accessible pontoon boat and boat ramp, beach aquatic chairs, portable lift transfer and a shelter house.
Floating fishing docks will be added to both Buffalo Trace and Hayswood Nature Reserve near Corydon. A star-gazing observatory will be added to South Harrison Park near Elizabeth.
To help provide an opportunity for future endeavors, $50,000 will be put into an endowment.
‘We’re not just spending it and forgetting about it,’ said Gilliland.
The endowment money will be used to maintain new facilities or possibly be used for future projects. All the projects set out in the Access to Recreation Grant will be completed as long as the budget stays the same, said Gilliland.
The Harrison County Community Foundation preliminary numbers show $2.8 million, an increase of two percent in September.
‘We’re doing real well,’ said Gilliland.
In other county news:
‘ The Harrison County Sheriff’s Dept. received a bid totaling $153,000 from Bloomington Ford for seven police cars, 2008 Crown Victorias. The bid will be taken under advisement by the commissioners and the Harrison County Council.
‘ The Boone Township Fire District updated the commissioners on the building of a new fire station. They said the design is similar to that of New Middletown’s fire station. The project is estimated at $500,000.