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Contact: Wallace Linder, 423-569-9778
Contact: Chris Derman
Recently, the National Park Service (NPS) announced $15 million in support of 69 projects in 63 parks, including funding for the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area to construct a picnic pavilion at the Appaloosa Field near the Bandy Creek Visitor Center. The NPS funding for Big South Fork will be matched with funding from the Knoxville Arabian Horse Club.
Funding for the project is provided through the NPS Centennial Challenge Program to leverage partnerships to improve visitor services, support outreach to new audiences, and reinvigorate national parks while forging connections with communities. Congress provided $15 million for the Centennial Challenge projects, which will be matched by almost $33 million from more than 90 park partners. The 69 projects total almost $48 million and are located at 63 parks in 38 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
"As the National Park Service enters its centennial year in 2016, Congress and generous partners across the country are making exceptional investments to improve park facilities, enhance their accessibility, and help more visitors – especially young people – discover our nation's inspiring places and stories," said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis.
"The Big South Fork is pleased to be able to implement this project," said park superintendent Niki Stephanie Nicholas. "This funding allows the park to address some deferred maintenance issues and provide a picnic structure in a field where large groups can obtain permits to camp or hold special events."
Project construction is expected to take place later this summer. The five-acre Appaloosa Field is a special-use recreation field that can be used by groups for many different types of events, including camping, foot races, equestrian events, weddings, etc.