A feasibility study will consider the potential for an outdoor adventure park in Daviess County.
The consultant will examine up to three locations, including the Blackford Creek property near Maceo.
“Back in 2009, Browning-Ferris Industries (BFI) donated to Daviess County just under 80 acres of land out on Kelly Cemetery Road and North Chestnut Grove Road,” explained David Smith, Director of Legislative Services.
“For this entire length of time, the County really hasn’t done much with that property,” Smith added. “Commissioner Lambert had at times brought up putting in a nature preserve with some trails and picnic benches.”
Smith told the Fiscal Court there may be an opportunity for a grant to develop the land into an outdoor adventure area. However, there are restrictions because of the neighboring Superfund site.
“We probably can’t do four-wheelers at that site,” Smith said. “So it does need to be something that doesn’t have a lot of impact on the land.”
The consultant, Strategic Adventures of Littleton, Colorado, performed a similar study for the community of London, Kentucky and their Convention & Visitors Bureau.
In London, “Treetop Adventure” is an aerial attraction located at the former Levi Jackson State Park, featuring ziplines, rope bridges, suspended tunnels, and other outdoor activities.
Smith said the company will explore similar options in Daviess County, including ziplining, a ropes challenge course, and even elevated skywalks.
“We should have the results within 30 days of the visit,” he added. “We can provide him with up to three sites to investigate and then he would decide which is the best of the three and then delve into that one site.”
Judge-Executive Al Mattingly said Fiscal Court included $10,000 in the 2021-2022 budget for the feasibility study.
“I think it is time we decide to move forward with it because there are some grants out there for this type of venture,” Mattingly announced.
If the feasibility study is promising, the County could move forward and look to secure an 80/20 matching grant or even a 100 percent grant to fund the construction of the park.
However, the County would likely secure a private operator for the site, considering the liability and staffing required.
“This study will not only deal with the physical characteristics but whether or not this market would even support such a venture,” Smith concluded. “That is part of it to see if it is even financially viable.”
Results from the study are expected before the end of the year.