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TDEC Announces Cumberland Gap Recreation Grant of $250,000

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) today announced a $250,000 parks and recreation grant for the Town of Cumberland Gap for land acquisition and the first phase of park development of the Cumberland Gap Commons.

The grant is part of $6,370,000 awarded to communities throughout the state from the Local Parks and Recreation Fund (LPRF) program and the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) program. The state is also awarding $448,000 in grants from the Recreation Trails Program (RTP).

“Local leaders need resources to provide recreational activities for their communities, and this is a way to help make it happen,” TDEC Deputy Commissioner Jim Bryson said. “We are pleased to announce these grants and look forward to the recreation projects that result from this assistance.”  

The project will be at 520 Colwyn Ave. in downtown Cumberland Gap. The first phase will comprise of acquiring approximately 1.4 acres, constructing parking (gravel at a minimum), including paved ADA spaces, an ADA ramp, bathrooms, and a walkway.

“I’m very happy this grant has been awarded to establish a new park in Cumberland Gap,” said Sen. Frank Niceley, R-Strawberry Plains. “The new outdoor space will be a fantastic venue for residents to gather and recreate, and will bring a beneficial financial impact by inviting visitors to the community. I look forward to seeing the project take shape.”

“Outdoor spaces and recreational facilities have always been an important part of any community because they provide opportunities that encourage healthy, active lifestyles and stimulate economic benefits by inviting visitors to our communities,” said Rep. Jerry Sexton, R-Bean Station. “They also provide places for people to gather and interact as a community.  This proved to be especially important during the pandemic when the only way to gather in groups was to do so outside. I was proud to support Cumberland Gap’s application and congratulate Mayor Pucciarelli, the Board of Alderman, and the other local leaders who were instrumental in helping to secure these funds. Their hard work will continue to benefit the citizens of Cumberland Gap for years to come.” 

The LPRF program provides state funding for the purchase of land for parks, natural areas, greenways, and recreational facilities. LPRF funds also may be used for trail development and capital projects in parks, natural areas, and greenways. The LWCF program provides grants to states to administer to state and local governments for the acquisition and development of public outdoor recreation areas and facilities. The grants require a 50-percent match.

The RTP is a federally funded, state administered grant program, providing funds for land acquisition for trails, trail maintenance, trail construction, trail rehabilitation, and trail head support facilities. These grants are distributed in the form of an 80-percent grant with a 20-percent match.