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TDEC announces $500,000 grant for City’s Covered Bridge Park

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) has announced a $500,000 parks and recreation grant for the City of Elizabethton for enhancements at Covered Bridge Park.
The grant is part of $7,584,530 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 $1,892,642 in grants from the Recreation Trails Program (RTP).
“We are happy to announce grants that will enhance the outdoor experience in communities across our state,” Jim Bryson, deputy commissioner of TDEC, said. “We want Tennesseans to enjoy recreational activity, and we recognize local leaders need funding to make it happen. These grants help meet that need.”
The project in Elizabethton will renovate Covered Bridge Park and include enhanced entrances to both ends of the Covered Bridge and to the park itself. It will include an approximately 60×35-ft., pavilion/restroom compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), approximately 350 linear feet of fencing, an ADA-compliant parking area, ADA paths, a picnic area with ADA-compliant picnic tables, lighting/electrical upgrades, and the planting of trees.
“I am very pleased that these funds are available for this project,” Sen. Rusty Crowe, R-Johnson City, said. “This park is a very important part of our community. The covered bridge is important to us all and I have great memories of the bridge with my grandfather. It not only serves as a wonderful outdoor space for our residents, but has a beneficial financial impact by inviting visitors to our communities. I congratulate our local officials who were instrumental in securing these funds.”
“I am excited Elizabethton has been selected to receive this grant to make enhancements at Covered Bridge Park,” Rep. John Holsclaw, R-Elizabethton, said. “I appreciate the work of our local and state leaders to secure these funds and look forward to spending time at the park very soon.”
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 trailhead support facilities. These grants are distributed in the form of an 80-percent grant with a 20-percent match.

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