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Alabama Historic Commission ‘overjoyed’ over landing ADECA Grant

Alabama Historic Commission (AHC) officials are excited to receive a $400,000 grant from the Federal Highway Administration’s Recreation Trails Program.

The grant will be used to build a multi-use concrete trail at Old Cahawba, a historic property of the Alabama Historical Commission. The funds will also be utilized to develop an equestrian trail and construct additional restrooms.

Old Cahawba Archaeological Park was one of 10 sites across the state to receive a grant last week from Gov. Kay Ivey.

“No place exemplifies the state’s bicentennial more than Old Cahawba, Alabama’s first state capital,” Alabama Historical Commission Executive Director Lisa Jones said. “The AHC is committed to make a number of improvements at the park in conjunction with the bicentennial celebration such as the widening and creation of pedestrian trails. There will also be a new equine trail as well as parking lot improvements. A newly-erected ghost structure pavilion will replicate the first Alabama State House and be used as a trailhead.”

Retired U.S. Air Force Major General Walter D. Givhan said the money will be used for improvements in the park.

“The improvements will enhance the park’s ability to educate visitors about its history, while maintaining its character,” Givhan said. “The enhancements will further the park’s preservation efforts by providing dedicated trails and parking for visitors.”

The ghost structure trailhead will give the park’s staff a central point on which to focus their educational programming. The addition of an equine trail will also provide a new experience for visitors, especially for horseback riding and cycling.

“Receiving this grant will allow us to better serve our visitors and to widen the appeal of this very special place,” Old Cahawba Site Director Linda Derry said. “My first thought, upon hearing about the grant award, was how grateful I am to the many people, organizations and local businesses that wrote letters of support. Reading those letters was a joyful experience. I hope

everyone realizes how much we appreciate their support.”

The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) administers the program in Alabama.