TELLICO PLAINS-"The little town with
the big backyard" is working hard so they can play hard.
The Tellico Plains Recreation Board has
kicked off a campaign to raise funds to continue the expansion of the
town's recreation area.
With a generous donation from TDS Telecom in
2012, the town was able to start a playground project. The $10,000
TDS donation and other donations from other area businesses and
individuals allowed the town to complete phase one of their
recreation project, which was to build a picnic area and playground.
With the funds, the board was able to purchase new playground
equipment, new picnic tables and construct a covered picnic pavilion
for the citizens and visitors of Tellico Plains.
This year, the Recreation Board has a
fundraising goal of $20,000, with hopes to purchase ground cover for
the playground, to add more benches, to install outdoor grills, to
complete landscaping and to add a splash pad for children.
"Our board recognizes the financial
obligations of businesses, organizations and individuals within our
communities and surrounding East Tennessee," said Alderwoman Sherri
Raby. "We recognize that everyone has responsibilities within their
business and has limited funds to donate. It is our goal to work with
each business that supports the town of Tellico Plains and the
Recreation Board to showcase your business as a contributor to phase
two of the expansion project."
The board is also actively searching
for available grants for recreation and has recently completed
benchmarking requirements, submitting the paperwork to the Tennessee
Department of Parks and Recreation.
"We're within striking distance [of
being benchmarked]," said Mayor Patrick Hawkins. "We should get
the rebuttal back from the state department any day now and then we
have 30 days to correct it and send it back."
Hawkins said there are a couple of
things the board will have to "tweak," including separating
recreation from the public works department and making it its own and
appointing a parks and recreation director.
Creating a slogan, "The Little Town
with the Big Backyard," the board is excited about the progress of
their recreation expansion plans since the board was created last
"Our recreation plans are off to a
great start," said Hawkins. "There is a lot more to come."
The town hopes to also be designated as
a Trail Town, showcasing them for biking areas. On Monday night, the
Recreation Board agreed to make the recommendation to the City
Council at the August meeting. If the City Council passes the Trail
Town resolution, it will then be presented to the County Commission
Once the town obtains benchmark status,
the grant possibilities will expand. Once phase two is completed, the
big goal for the town is to purchase land to create ball fields and a
park, where tournaments can be held and that both locals and tourists
Until then, however, the town is still
in need of sponsors, contributors, partners and/or supporters to
assist them with their recreation goals, said Raby.
"We're a small town with big efforts
to provide a family-oriented recreation area that fosters active,
healthy lifestyles and encourages family time with our youth," she
said. "Every dollar matters and will help us reach our goal."
To donate to the town of Tellico
Plains' recreation project, call 423-519-3617.