MONTGOMERY — An Alabama state park is about to get a makeover thanks in part to a $200,000 grant, Gov. Kay Ivey announced.
The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources will use funds from the Appalachian Regional Commission to restore and improve a campground at Lake Guntersville State Park in Marshall County. The Town Creek Campground sustained substantial damage during a tornado in 2011, and while it has been reopened to public, the department said that additional work and upgrades are needed.
“Alabama has an abundance of natural resources, and our state parks are great preservers of that,” Governor Ivey said. “Every year our parks attract thousands of people both from Alabama and out of the state who are seeking venues to relax and enjoy nature and the company of others. I am pleased to announce this grant that will help continue restoring the beautiful Lake Guntersville.”
ARC funds will be used to build 12 campsites, extend a gravel road and provide water, electrical, drainage and sewage improvements to each campsite. The improvements are expected to attract an additional 8,000 people to the campgrounds that already averages more than 50,000 visitors a year and generates more than $500,000 in revenue, according to ADCNR.
The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs administers the ARC program in Alabama.
“Guntersville State Park with all its amenities is a major cog in attracting visitors who add to Alabama’s tourism industry and to local economies in the region,” ADECA Director Kenneth Boswell said. “ADECA is pleased to join Gov. Ivey and the Appalachian Regional Commission in a project that will make this state park an even more sought-out destination.”
The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resource’s State Parks Division has committed $300,000 for the project.
ARC is an economic development agency of the federal government and 13 state governments. The agency’s mission is to innovate, partner, and invest to build community capacity and strengthen economic growth in Appalachia to help the region achieve socioeconomic parity with the nation. Marshall County is among the 37 Alabama counties that are part of the ARC region and eligible for funds.
ADECA manages a range of programs that support law enforcement, economic development, recreation development, energy conservation and water resource management.
Jim Plott or Mike Presley
ADECA Communications and External Affairs