Any community interested in obtaining the Trail Town designation now has the option of applying for the Kentucky Bicycle and Bikeway Commission’s Paula Nye Memorial Bicyclist and Pedestrian Education Grant. Funded solely by citizen contributions made by purchasing Kentucky’s “Share the Road” speciality license plate, the amount of funds available each funding cycle is variable and based on the number of license plates sold and renewals paid each fiscal year.
“I think this is an opportunity for any community looking to become a Trail Town,” said Kentucky Adventure Tourism Executive Director Elaine Wilson. “This grant is for any community looking at cycling opportunities — bringing people into their communities so these visitors can spend money in your local community, help local businesses and the economy. It’s a way to educate the people — the routes you have planned, the safety concepts you have to know, and be aware of, in order to make a good, safe and hospitable community to all your visitors.”
Wilson said this grant is beneficial to the Trail Town designation development. She said the grant is to inform the citizens of Kentucky and promote the general public awareness to matters pertaining to bicycle and pedestrians safety through the development of curriculum, training aids and/or educational programs or projects directly related to bicycle and pedestrian safety. She said it also educates citizens about the health, recreational, economic, social, cultural and other benefits arising from bicycling and walking.
“We are currently working with the city of Evarts and want to do anything we can to help them obtain this Trail Town designation,” said Wilson. “Evarts was a Trail Town long before we thought of the concept. What we want them to do is go through the procedure and get the certification, because along with that designation, Evarts will have the opportunity to get a lot of good marketing from the state. We’re very interested in seeing them continue and I’ve been told they are very interested in continuing the Trail Town project.”
Wilson said the one thing hindering Evarts in obtaining this designation is a road that connects the trail head and city, which will officially allow people to travel that road safely.
“They are working on this — trying to find ways to accomplish this,” said Wilson. “I think the mayor (Eddie Manning) has a real good handle on some options that he is looking into. I’m basically waiting to hear his instructions. If he needs any help from the Tourism Cabinet, we are very happy to help the city of Evarts in anyway possible to help them obtain their goals.”
Wilson went on to say the Adventure Tourism office now has applications for the Trail Town designation from four communities in Harlan County, which include Evarts, Cumberland, Benham and Lynch. Wilson said Harlan County is the only county in the state that has this opportunity to have four communities designated as Trail Town cities.
“Cumberland, Lynch and Benham are all working together, as one location, because they have so much to offer in that part of the county,” said Wilson. “If their plans come to provision, they have the opportunity to have a bike trail that is many many miles long - longer than any in the state of Kentucky. Coupled with the fact Harlan County has so much cultural history that people are interested in, letting them know about the coal history in our state, people can actually visit a portal. All these things add to the visitor’s experience. I’m really excited. If we get these Trail Town designations, it’s really going to boost our visitation to the county.”
The deadline for applying for the Paula Nye Memorial Bicyclist and Pedestrian Education Grant is Sept. 30. For more information you may contact Wilson at (502) 564-4270 Ext. 242 or by email at email@example.com.
Reach Nola Sizemore at 606-573-4510 or at firstname.lastname@example.org