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Path to Progress

State grant to help
establish Butler walking path

Trail will wind around
scenic Gen. Butler lake

By Helen E. McKinney
Contributing Writer

CARROLLTON, Ky. (August 2009) – In her role as Program Services Supervisor for Gen. Butler State Resort Park in Carrollton, Ky., Tanya Supplee has a vision for the park’s trail system. If she can accomplish her goal of installing a new trail around Butler Lake, she will also be addressing the concerns of health and fitness for all those who use the park frequently.

Tanya Supplee

Photo provided

Gen. Butler State
Resort Park’s Tanya
Supplee pursued
and finally obtained
a state matching
grant to establish
new walking trails
at the Carrollton park.

Supplee applied for a federal grant in 2008 and on May 13 was awarded a $25,000 matching grant through the state’s Recreational Trails Program. Gen. Butler must match this amount through labor, supplies, equipment, consulting fees and trail construction, said Supplee, for a total project cost of $50,000. She is unsure if additional funding will be needed to complete the project.
“My ultimate goal is to create a 1.6-mile, eight-foot shared use trail that’s sustainable,” said Supplee. The trail would be constructed of crushed limestone with landscape borders, include 15-foot bridges to serve as connectors along the trail and signage. The trail will be maintained by the park.
When she first applied for the grant in 2007, Supplee said she was told “that the grant passed the reviewing committee and was waiting on final approval with the Governor’s Office for Local Development.”
But it was denied at that time. Now that the grant has been secured, Supplee anticipates the project taking one year to complete once the money is actually allocated.
The Recreational Trails Program provides funding to states to develop and maintain recreational trails and trail-related facilities for both motorized and non-motorized recreational trail uses. The program is an assistance program of the Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration and each state administers its own program.
“The Recreational Trails Program grants are highly competitive,” said Cindy Lanham, Director of Communications for the Department for Local Government, which administers the grant money on a state level. “Only about 50 percent or fewer of the applicants are accepted for funding.”

Trail Shape Program

• A free program of the Kentucky State Parks system that inspires hikers to discover Kentucky sights and get fit at the same time.
• Goal is to hike 16 trails within a one-year period.
• Trails total nearly 40 miles and vary in length and terrain.
• Hikers are asked to document their experiences through photographs at designated photo spots and keep a written journal of these experiences.
• The North Central Region of Kentucky contains three trails that qualify for the Trail Shape Program: the 1.25-mile Goose Creek Trail at E.P. Tom Sawyer State Park in Louisville; the 4.5-mile Fossil Trail at Gen. Butler State Resort Park in Carrollton; the one-mile Big Bone Creek Interpretive Trail at Big Bone Lick State Park in Union, Ky.
• Trail maps and park directions can be down loaded from www.parks.ky.gov.

Kentucky received $1.5 million for the Recreational Trails Program in 2009.
A project’s selection is based on an application and the fact that the project must meet all program requirements. Projects are considered based upon what type of recreation they will provide so that funding is distributed to all types of activities and across the entire state, said Lanham. The Recreational Trails Advisory Board then reviews all qualifying applications, prioritizes them, and recommends them to the Commissioner of the Dept. for Local Government. “The governor’s office has the final say on which projects receive funding.”
“Tourism is a vital industry in Kentucky and we are very fortunate to have one of the premier state park systems in the United States,” said Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear. “This grant will assist with the development and maintenance of new and existing trails at Gen. Butler State Resort Park, enhancing its attraction as a destination for outdoor recreation for Kentuckians and our visitors.”
Supplee began to envision a trail project to encircle Butler Lake in 2006 when a local committee was formed to address health and fitness issues among the youth of Carroll County. The group devised a comprehensive plan known as “A Step in the Right Direction.” The committee was comprised of members from the Carroll County School System, Voc-Tech & School Board, Carroll County Extension Services, Carroll County Corrections Center, Boy Scouts, Carroll County 4-H and the Kentucky Department of Parks.

Trail Bridge
Trail Shelter

Supplee had expressed her vision to the committee for creating a trail that would designate the area around Butler Lake for “recreation, fitness, environmental education and safety,” she said of the area that is widely used by Carroll County residents and tourists alike. The proposed area for the trail currently offers boating, fishing, camping and picnicking, said Supplee. “The possibilities and opportunities are endless.”
The original committee was formed by Grace Angotti, county agent for Family and Consumer Sciences for the Carroll County Cooperative Extension Services. “It was a concern at the time that there were not enough walking areas that were conducive to walking,” said Angotti. “We wanted more around the county.”
Since that time, efforts have been made by the Extension Services to support the Butler Lake Greenway Trail project and to promote health and fitness.
Last October the Second Sunday Initiative Campaign, a state-wide initiative offered through the Extension Services, held a walk by closing off two streets in downtown Carrollton with about 100 people participating.
The Second Sunday Initiative Campaign will be held again this year as well as Winter Walks.
“I feel it’s very important that we provide an area for people to walk that’s conducive to walking,” said Angotti. “We need a more walkable community.”
County Judge-Executive Harold “Shorty” Tomlinson said, “A lot of people visit the park and look for things to do.” Having the Butler Lake Trail is a nice aspect for the community, while providing tourists the opportunity to see the natural beauty of the state park, he said.
Tomlinson, who managed the park for more than eight years, said, “People want to know about the trails.” With an emphasis in today’s society on staying healthy, the timing of this project “fit like a glove.”
The county was recently notified that it had received a Recreation and Trails Grant in the amount of $62,000. This will help expand the county’s trails, Tomlinson said, by “tying all the parks together by walking trails.” The loop will connect Point Park, Gen. Butler State Resort Park and the county park.
The City of Carrollton recently applied for a grant through the school system for sidewalk improvements. “There is a real push across America for trails and walkways right now,” Tomlinson said.
Additional monetary assistance was given to begin the Butler Lake Greenway Trail project from The Educational Excellence Foundation of Carroll County. Jeff Fremin pursued a grant of $7,500 for the project that was awarded funding by King’s Daughters’ Hospital & Health Services in Madison, Ind.
Funding from this grant helped fuel the beginning stages of the project, said Supplee. Clearing of the area, building of bridges and two Eagle Scout Projects involving a larger bridge and picnic shelter were completed.
The Butler Lake Greenway Trail project also includes restoring and interpreting historical landmarks built by the Civilian Conservation Corp., developing land near the trail into an archery range, and constructing an accessible fishing pier. Completion of the trail project would highlight “this area as a safe non-threat route from lakeside to lakeside and to the park’s existing seven miles of trails,” Supplee said.
By making the effort to conserve existing resources, the Butler Lake Trail Project will adopt a move known as “Smart Growth.” Established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Smart Growth is characterized by the development of walkable communities that give individuals a range of safe, affordable, convenient choices for leisure or personal needs.
Gen. Butler State Resort Park is comprised of 791 acres of land and 33 acres of lake. It is one of many Kentucky State Parks that offer a combined 300 miles of hiking trails throughout the state. Hikers who take advantage of these trails are afforded the opportunity to view waterfalls, age-old fossils, and various bird and plant species that were in existence when dinosaurs roamed the Earth.
Existing trails at the park include the 4.5-mile Fossil Trail. This is the park’s longest trail and takes its name from the ancient marine fossils found embedded in the thin layers of limestone rock along the trail. This loop trail crosses and follows open field areas and takes hikers through old hardwood forests behind the Stone Overlook, built in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corp.

• For more information, contact Tanya Supplee at (502) 732-4384, ext. 2412, or via Email at: Tanya.Supplee@ky.gov.

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