Cawaco grant helps Minooka trails project

Published 2:37 pm Thursday, August 30, 2018

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Minooka Park in Jemison is scheduled to undergo expansion after receiving a Recreational Trails Program grant.

The Cawaco Resource, Conservation and Development Council presented a $10,000 grant to the Chilton County Parks and Recreation Board, which was used to match a $150,000 Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs grant and a $27,400 grant from the Chilton County Commission to help cover the estimated cost of the project, according to a Cawaco press release.

“Cawaco is leaving its mark on both of our parks,” Parks and Recreation director Gerald Arrington said. “They’ve really been good to us.”

Cawaco RC&D is an organization that supports educational and community development projects in Central Alabama.

“It takes a big team to get something like that to happen,” said Drayton Cosby with Cawaco.

Commissioners Steve Langston, Jimmie Hardee and Joe Headley were joined by Sen. Cam Ward, Rep. Jimmy Martin, Rep. April Weaver and members of the Chilton County Extension Office during the Cawaco grant presentation on Aug. 29.

According to Arrington, 83 acres has been purchased and will be home to several trails, including the possibility of a more suited beginner loop.

The park’s current beginner loop is only one mile long.

“It’s a hidden jewel out here,” Ward said about the park.

The goal for the new section of trails is to be wider and more conducive for riding side-by-side ATVs.

“We’re looking forward to bringing in new riders,” Arrington said.

Arrington hopes to have the project completed by next spring. The additional land puts the park at roughly 450 total acres.

“It is a tremendous asset for the county,” Martin said.