By Matt de Simone
The Town of Fincastle has posted an announcement on its Facebook page about the current status of Big Spring Park.
The town seeks input from residents about the future development of the newly purchased property at Big Spring Park. Fincastle continues the process of applying for grants to help with the funding for the project. Town Council asked for the public to take a survey about the park and potential recreational needs.
“We bought the property in January, so trail conceptualization and development are relatively new,” Town Manager David Ticker explained. “We just started thinking about trails in maybe late February-March.”
The town currently awaits grant funding. According to Mayor Mary Bess Smith, conversations about proposed grants have gone well. The town has two working proposals with the Virginia Department of Historic Resources and the Virginia Department of Natural Resources. The Virginia Outdoors Foundation denied the first proposal, but the town received good feedback from the group. The mayor remains hopeful.
“The town doesn’t have a lot of experience asking for these grants,” Smith explained in a recent interview. “While we were turned down, I’m very excited we now have people involved who can point us in a better direction preparing these grant proposals in the future.”
Local Park Planner and Developer Donnie Underwood is one of the individuals working with the Town of Fincastle during the proposal process. He has previous experience working in the Roanoke Valley—namely, his involvement with the Roanoke Valley Greenway. Earlier this month, Underwood presented the Town Council with a new Big Spring Park conceptual design.
“This project is a part of a bigger process and a longer process,” Smith stated. “What we’re trying to do is get community input on our Facebook page what people in town and around town would like to see in the park.”
The park has always been a small area of Fincastle proper. The mayor feels that the opportunity to broaden the park’s presence and connect it to Breckinridge Elementary School requires community input so that more individuals will be excited about the proposed project.
Readers who would like to add input can do so by visiting the Town of Fincastle’s Facebook page.