Sunday, May 2, 2010

Putnam County Receives Tourism Grant

Congressman Bart Gordon says USDA Rural Development has awarded $25,000 to the Tennessee Parks and Greenways Foundation to promote wilderness tourism and set up workshops for local residents interested in starting tourism-related small businesses. The project will encompass an area of Putnam, Jackson and Overton county that includes some of the state’s most striking natural features, including Spring Creek, Blackburn Fork and Roaring River. Gordon says the area is easily accessible and ideal for hiking, hunting, fishing, kayaking, canoeing and wildlife-viewing. The foundation's executive director Kathleen Williams says this area has a less developed tourist infrastructure than other parts of the state in spite of its natural potential. The Tennessee Parks and Greenways Foundation will use the grant to conduct an inventory of the area’s features and existing local groups, compiled in an interactive map on its website. The foundation also plans to hold workshops for residents interested in starting a small business related to the tourism industry, such as a bed and breakfast, canoe rental business or hunting guide service.