Daviess and Martin County Community Foundations Award Grants to Construct New West Boggs Gatehouse
In a joint show of support, the Daviess County Community Foundation and the Martin County Community Foundation have each awarded grants for the construction of a new gatehouse at West Boggs Park.
The Community Foundation grants are expected to cover 2/3rds of the new structure’s cost, depending on final design and estimates.
“We truly appreciate this funding,” says Jameson Hibbs, Park Superintendent. “It exceeds our expectations.”
According to the presidents of both Community Foundation Boards, joint funding of the Gatehouse project is a result of the leaders and donors of each Foundation and their shared commitment to make life better in the counties where they live and work.
“Since the park is a joint asset of both counties, providing funding alongside Daviess County was very important to us.” says Dan Gregory, Board President of the Martin County Community Foundation. “When we work together, the impact is greater.”
For Daviess County Community Foundation Board President, Linda Myers, the joint funding was a great opportunity. “Providing this grant alongside the Martin County Community Foundation worked well for this particular project,” added Myers. “Our counties have this shared asset which provided an avenue for us to collaborate and we did.”
The park, operated by the Daviess-Martin Joint County Parks and Recreation Department and located in both Daviess and Martin counties, opened in 1972 as a recreational facility for residents of the two counties and as an attraction for tourists to the area. It includes a 622-acre lake with swimming and shoreline fishing, 300 campsites, cabins, picnic shelters, an activity center, and a universally designed playground. Numerous events are held at the location which, according to park officials, served a record number of visitors during 2017 and 2018.
The new gatehouse will better serve the increasing visitor numbers, which, according to Park Superintendent, Jameson Hibbs, have not only caused delays for customers, but traffic safety issues on US Highway 231 leading to the park entrance.
“We literally stop traffic every Friday evening with campers as they wait to enter the park,” says Hibbs. “This concern is magnified on Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day weekends as the facility campground is at full occupancy for three days. Our park events are gaining such popularity that there are many weekends we stop traffic as people wait to gain entrance to the events.”
Compared to the existing gatehouse, the new one will be 6 feet longer and another foot wider, providing a larger space for customers to complete necessary transactions inside, out of the way of vehicles entering and exiting the park. It will feature a larger front porch for busy times when customers may be required to wait outside and offer park visitors an ADA compliant restroom. Insulation and an HVAC system will expand use of the gatehouse during the colder winter months.
The gatehouse structure is just one feature of a plan to enhance the park entrance. Additional components include more traffic lanes and a parking lot.
Hibbs says this isn’t the only improvement the park has planned as several are on a list to be completed over the next three years.
“We will continue to seek additional funding from a variety of sources to supplement our budget for the projects,” says Hibbs. “The additional funding helps the work move forward faster.”
For Gregory and Myers, even though joint funding of the West Boggs project is a first, both Community Foundations will keep an eye out for future opportunities.
“We appreciate working with our neighboring Community Foundation to advance the good work in our counties,” says Gregory.
“And, we look forward to identifying ways we can share in successes again,” added Myers.
Front row left to right: Lauren Osmon (Daviess County Community Foundation Regional Director of Community Engagement & Impact), Lisa Starr (Community Foundation Partnership/Martin County Community Foundation Grants Officer), Dan Gregory (Martin County Community Foundation Board President), Jameson Hibbs (West Boggs Park Superintendent), Linda Myers (Daviess County Community Foundation Board President), Mary Smith (Daviess County Community Foundation Director of Development), Deborah Crays (West Boggs Park Office Manager); back row left to right: Ryan Bass (West Boggs Park Customer Service Manager), Chris Bearden (West Boggs Park Maintenance Supervisor), Curt Johnson (Martin County Community Foundation Director of Asset Development), Elaine Taylor (West Boggs Park Program Director)