PHOTO: Katie Pratt, UK Agricultural Communications
A former Civil War encampment in Allen County is now a place for families to be active, learn about history and enjoy nature. Dumont Hill Park in Scottsville officially opened in early November, on the day commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Union soldier encampment that took place on the grounds.
The park was the result of work of many community partners, including the local office of the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service.
“One of the things that Extension is always interested in is approaching community issues and bringing people together to facilitate using all available resources,” said Janet Johnson, the county’s extension agent for family and consumer sciences.
Johnson and Steve Osborne, the county’s agriculture and natural resources extension agent, both serve on the Friends of Dumont Hill, a nonprofit that manages the park. Members of the nonprofit have worked on developing the 68-acre park since the Dugas Family Foundation deeded the land to the city in 2005.
“We feel very fortunate that our extension agents are good community partners,” said Gayle Davis, Scottsville city clerk.
When the city received the property, Mayor Rob H. Cline saw it as an excellent opportunity to fill a real need. The city did not have a park that was geared toward all ages.
“We didn’t have the facilities or property to do what we can do over here now,” he said. “This is a completely new direction for us.”
Davis worked with the Friends of Dumont Hill to secure grant funding.
“My first interest was the historic preservation aspect and the ability for our children to know of the Civil War activities that took place here.” Davis said. “I felt like if this area were developed we’d lose that educational opportunity.”
The group received sizable grants from the Dugas Family Foundation, the Laura Goad Turner Charitable Foundation and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration’s Recreational Trails Program for trail development.
The park includes three trails of varying intensity levels and lengths, including a nearly 2-mile nature trail. The trail was manually cleared and designed by local business owners and outdoor enthusiasts Kerri and Al Barman, who completed the project in a month.
“We really wanted a place for people to go during their leisure time to walk, hike or just be active,” Al Barman said. “We were limited on those types of things in this area.”
The park also includes a replica of a period log cabin along with educational signage on the environment and history of the area.
Opening ceremonies included a historical re-enactment of the Battle of Scottsville and various musicians. Community leaders say they are already receiving requests for other events.
“The uses for this park are really unlimited,” Osborne said.
Janet Johnson or Steve Osborne, 270-237-3146