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A $10,000 grant was recently awarded to the Owen County Fair Board. The money will be used to help spruce up four acres of park land.
“Operation Clear, Preserve and Reclaim” was coordinated by the Owen County Fair Board in partnership with the parks and recreation department, the Owen County Fiscal Court, Owen County Soil Conservation District and community volunteers.
The grant will make the four acres of land more accessible to the public as a passive recreation area. The project will include the reclamation of overgrown acreage and the enhancement of a natural spring that has been identified.
A pergola, which is a plant-covered archway, will be constructed near the stream. The area will have several uses including as an outdoor classroom.
The check is part of Kentucky American Water’s environmental grant program, which was announced earlier this year.
Owen County Parks and Recreation Director Buck Beverly said in order to be eligible for the grant, there had to be a waterway of some sort to work with.
“At the back part of the walking trail, there’s a spring,” Beverly said. “We’re going to open that up and make it a part of the walking trail. We’re putting a bridge across it and a pergola and hopefully it will get used by the schools and people out there walking.”
Beverly said some of the work has already begun with a local Mennonite group constructing the bridge and pergola which is being built out of cedar.
More work will likely begin in early August, following two major July events at the park and fairgrounds, including the Owen County 4-H Fair and Horse Show and a special olympic softball tournament, Beverly said.
“It’s all about creating an environment that will make people want to come out there,” Beverly said. “We’re trying to beautify and enhance the facility as a whole and just be environmentally friendly. I want to create an attractive environment for the people in the county and community, that’s my aspiration.”
Kentucky American Water External and Government Affairs Manager Susan Lancho said KAW is happy to support the efforts of parks and rec.
“We believe this is a terrific community project focused on the environment, passive recreation, health and wellness and community education, and we are pleased to lend support to it,”