300 acre park coming to Scottsville

Published: Feb. 10, 2016 at 3:56 PM CST
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Thanks to a major donation, Scottsville and Allen County would soon have an expansive new rural heritage and outdoor activities park connecting Dumont Hill.

Laura Dugas, daughter of the late Callister Turner who founded Dollar General Corporation, had been working with her husband and kids for nearly two years to develop a proposal that would allow them to donate nearly 250 acres of their family's land back to Allen County.

Wednesday, the park's planning board proudly announced that Dugas Community Park was officially coming to Allen County.

"I really believe when this park is completed, it's going to be the signature of Scottsville. I think it will really reshape our community. It is the one place that everyone is going to want to go," said Al Barman, President of the Friends of Dugas Family Community Park.

The master plan for the park was laid out to include a tree-house village, pavilion, restrooms and an amphitheater, but that was only Phase I of III.

The later phases would include everything from equestrian facilities to a roadside Farmer's Market, all amenities that Scottsville Mayor Robbie Cline said would provide Allen County families with local entertainment.

"It's going to be great for our community. It's going to be great in the future for our students here, for our young people, and this morning I just want to say 'Thank you, thank you.'"

The pieces of land donated by the Dugas Family bordered sections of the Scottsville side of US 31-E between the US 231 and Ky. 101 intersections.

Once you combined that acreage with the Dumont Hill Park Civil War site, the new park would total 312 acres.

Despite that rapid expansion, the majority of the funding would not fall in the hands of the city and county.

"As far as the general operation of the park, not only did the Dugas family donate the land, but they also set up an endowment and a partnership with Western Kentucky University to help fund our general operating budgets," said Barman.

Part of that partnership meant there would a visiting WKU professorship, where the professor worked hand-in-hand with the board and executive director of the Friends of Dugas Community Park to design educational opportunities for Allen County Schools and WKU students.

The Friends of DCP hoped to get Phase I of the park completed by the end of 2017, but they were still trying to nail down an estimated completion date for the park as a whole.

In February, Barman said the important thing to the board was spreading the word about the Dugas family's contribution in hopes of securing any additional funding.

"This is going to happen, so we're not just talking what we're planning, but we're telling you what we're going to do. This is going to be a big thing."