The City of Lafayette didn’t receive the RTP grant for Winding Stairs Nature Trails & Park, however Mayor Richard Driver would like to reassure everyone that the project is not dead.
“The City of Lafayette applied for a grant to construct walking trails and a park at the Winding Stairs location and unfortunately we didn’t receive it,” Mayor Driver said last week. “Although we are disappointed, it really hasn’t changed our position on wanting to develop Winding Stairs into a park, therefore we will move forward. We are looking at this as a temporary set back and we are going to explore other funding options.”
The Mayor said he has been talking with the Upper Cumberland Development District to see what kind of programs the city can apply for with them. “Of course I have talked to Representative Kelly Keisling and he is going to help us with that,” said Mayor Driver. “Keisling supports the park and I think he was just as disappointed that we didn’t get the grant as we were.”
“We are going to go ahead and form “Friends of Winding Stairs” and we want to get the community involved with the project,” continued the Mayor. “That way if anybody wants to volunteer to work on the park or make donations they can contact the organization.”
Mayor Driver wants to get the civic organizations involved like the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts and he is also looking at the Rotary Club, Lions Club and other services that he thinks will help out.
“Right now, what we are going to do is look at the park from a different view since we didn’t get the grant,” he said. “We will be talking to the school system to see if the Interact Club would like to be volunteers to help develop the park. We are going to look at it and say ‘what trails can we make now’, to get something established. Also one thing the city is going to look at is making the road a little bit better, more accessible.”
“We are going to go ahead and see how much we can develop. We are not going to abandon it, not going to get out of it, and not going to stop it, we are going to keep it going,” the Mayor said. “If the community wants to help by donating money to the “Friends of Winding Stairs” we will be able to do more.”
According to Mayor Driver, the city is going to reapply for the RTP grant and as he said he is talking with Upper Cumberland to see what other grants that might be available for the park project. “I’ve had people come up to me and when I told them that we didn’t get the grant, they said ‘we’ll see if we can help you’, and I said that is what it is going to take for it to happen right now - the community to support it both volunteering and financially.”
“If we can get the support, the project will move a lot faster.”