PRESTONSBURG – Citizens from around the area gathered Saturday morning at Jenny Wiley State Resort Park to discuss the new Friends of Jenny Wiley community initiative, and future projects around the park.
Friends of Jenny Wiley (FJW) is a non-profit group that was started in 2014 with the goal of aiding in the promotion of tourism and recreational activities in and around Prestonsburg’s state park, Jenny Wiley State Resort.
The group was created as a means to an end, being able to operate outside of the confines of the government regulations that control the parks ability to essentially help itself through grant writing and soliciting donations.
Jenny Wiley State Resort park Manager Julian Slone, introduced the speakers and discussed some of the recent success that the park has made, as well as the challenges it faces. Slone said said that the best support the new group could offer to the park would be a corp of dedicated volunteers and assistance with fundraising.
Tom Moak is the current president of the FJW group, and told those in attendance Saturday that all of the ground work has been completed, and that now they are ready to begin helping the park.
“What our focus is, to try and get the word out about the park, not just the park, but the whole area,” said Moak, who added that Eastern Kentucky needs to shake the image of a place where there is nothing to do.
“We’ve got the lake, we’ve got the park, well that includes a whole lot of things that don’t cost a lot of money,” said Moak. “You can swim, fish, boat, you can hike, you can kayak. You can do all those things around the lake.”
Moak said that when you talk to people who come in from out of the area, they are amazed by all the recreational activities available.
“Its important that we keep spreading the word,” said Moak.
Don Fields, owner of Pro-Fitness Multi Sports, who joined the membership of FJW on Saturday, said he saw the group as a way to help take up the slack for the park.
“There are things that the park cant handle themselves, that need to be done, the friends will step in and do it,” said Fields. Fields has helped the last several years building and developing mountain biking trails around the park, and has also helped organize kayaking events on the lake.
Fields says that FJW’s first proposed project, to build a changing station at the spot of the old stables will be a real boon to the park.
“The friends talking about building a changing station… that’s a big plus,” said Fields. “When we go over to the park where the mountain bike trail start, there’s no place to change clothes or use the bathroom; I mean you’re standing right beside the road, so that will be nice right there.”
The proposed changing station is the first of what the new group hope will be many projects to come in the future.
Other topics mentioned during the question and answer session at the end of the presentation included the future of the parks golf course, the beach and Arrow Head Point areas.
For more information about the Friends of Jenny Wiley, visit their facebook at www.facebook.com/Friends-of-Jenny-Wiley
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