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City ‘finally’ receives grant for 70-acre riverfront improvements

City Receives Grant for 70-Acre Riverfront Improvements
Published: Jun. 23, 2022 at 1:44 PM CDT
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - At Tuesday’s Bowling Green City Commission meeting, the board of commissioners accepted a $750,000 grant for riverfront area improvements near downtown.

The grant comes from the Kentucky Department for Local Government, funded by the National Park Service’s Land and Water Conservation Fund.

Officials say the funding took 28 months before it was ‘finally approved’ as they received preliminary approval before the pandemic began.

“I know that there’s been a lot of anticipation I’ve talked about this project for all 28 of those months in different capacities,” said Brent Childers, Director of Neighborhood & Community Services.

The $750,000 grant will be used in conjunction with $1.5 million that was set aside in the ‘21 budget, Childers said.

The money will be used for 70 acres of parkland along the riverfront, transforming that into an “outdoor adventure park.”

“This is about really transforming a project that we’ve been talking about as a community for years and years. And so far, we have a walking trail, we have a mountain bike trail. And now recently, we have connected the two pieces of property under River Street,” said Childers.

The next step includes hiring a design firm. The city will eventually seek the public’s input on plans.

“We know that this is going to drive commerce for the next couple of years to come, so hats off because this is gonna be something that Bowling Green is gonna have to look forward towards long after this City Commission is gonna even be here,” said City Commissioner Carlos Bailey.

“As we continue to grow and get bigger, it’s so important for us to have these spaces that we can connect to nature. We know it’s really healthy for kids and their development to be able to get out and play and just excited about the visioning sessions that our community can get involved in,” said City Commissioner Dana Beasley-Brown.

Discussion about the riverfront development begins at roughly 44 minutes into the meeting shared below:

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