Elizabethton, Carter County Parks and Recreation work towards softball field, dog park

The Carter County Parks and Recreation is looking to apply for a grant to help fund its proposed adult softball field and dog park, but it needs help from the community in order to succeed.

Chairman of the board Ken Gough said the park’s current plan is a joint venture with Elizabethton’s Parks and Recreation. After acquiring a plot of land on Gap Creek Road near Mary Patton Highway, he said they got right to work figuring out how to build the park.

“Both the city and county recognize a need for a park in this vicinity, and the city included a west-side park in its recently updated Recreation Master Plan,” Gough said.

Estimated costs sit at around $500,000 to $700,000, which is where the Boyd Foundation’s Dog Park Dash grant came into the picture.

“We are hoping to receive $25,000,” he said.

Currently, Carter County has contributed roughly $148,000, and the city’s contribution is still under negotiation. The Boyd grant is not the only grant they will apply for, but this grant in particular has an extra requirement for consideration.

One requirement in order to receive any grant money from Boyd is proof of community support in the form of letters, showing the community’s genuine desire for the park.

“The Overmountain Men walked across this property,” Gough said, pointing to the Overmountain Men Victory Trail that runs along the edge of it. He said they plan to put up a monument or trailhead on the park to mark that section of the trail itself.

He said many different aspects of the park work together to make the project worth the investment, particularly the field’s main purpose of housing adult softball.

“All the fields in the city were turned over to youth sports,” Gough said.

For the dog park, Gough said dog owners can and do walk their dogs on the Tweetsie Trail nearby, but he said that is not nearly sufficient for the pets to walk around and play.

He said the letters of support go to either himself at the Carter County Parks and Recreation or by emailing them to the Boys Foundation directly at dogparkdash.com/support.

Gough said submissions should be simple and straightforward, showing the foundation why community members want this park to be built in Carter County.

“The County is really serious about this,” Gough said.

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