The Land and Water Conservation Fund grant will be used to improve an access road, construct parking and camping sites, walkways and restrooms and install infrastructure as part of the first phase of park development. Future development will include the construction of trails for hiking and horseback riding.
“Cherokee Rock Village is one of the many natural wonders found in Alabama,” Bentley said. “This park will feature some of most spectacular scenery and rock features anywhere.”
Located just west of Leesburg on Shinbone Ridge, the 200-acre park has become an international draw for rock climbers because of its large and varied rock formations, but the area has remained relatively unknown to other outdoor enthusiasts. A segment of the motion picture, “Failure to Launch” starting Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew McConaughey was filmed at the site.
The property has been owned by the county since 1979, but never developed. The land was recently deeded to the Parks and Recreation Board of Cherokee County Inc. which applied for the grant.
Bentley notified Gary Banister, project manager and recreation board treasurer, that the grant had been approved.
The board with assistance from the Cherokee County Commission is supplying matching funds in an amount at least equal to the grant. The match is coming in the form of property acquisition, donated labor and material and cash.
The LWCF program was created in 1965 by Congress and assists states with the development and preservation of outdoor recreational facilities. The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs is administering the grant.