Two new projects in downtown Clarkesville will soon get a boost from a state tourism grant from the Georgia Department of Economic Development.
The City of Clarkesville was awarded a $10,000 grant to create a master plan for the restoration of the Old Clarkesville Cemetery. Clarkesville Main Street received a $2,274.00 grant for interpretive exhibits at the Historic Mauldin House Visitor’s Center.
The grant is part of $111,624 that the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s (GDEcD) Tourism division is giving to 14 tourism-related marketing projects across the state.
“Georgia’s tourism industry continues to be one of the state’s leading industries with an economic impact of $60 billion,” said Kevin Langston, deputy commissioner for tourism at the Georgia Department of Economic Development. “Tourism has a positive impact across the state, by spurring job creation, attracting investment and providing residents with an improved quality of life. The success of our industry relies on creation of new tourism product and the resource team grant helps activate these new developments.”
In an effort to further tourism product development within the state, Georgia Tourism offers this grant to communities who participated in the department’s Tourism Product Development (TPD) Resource Team program as a way to build product outlined in the resource team’s reports. The Tourism Product Development Resource Team program works to evaluate a community’s potential for tourism growth and development through innovative and unique experiences based on a community’s local culture and heritage.
Habersham County participated in a TPD Resource Team visit in late 2016. The Historic Clarkesville Cemetery and the Mauldin House Visitor’s Center were among other county-wide projects recommended as eligible tourism-related projects in the TPD’s final report presented in January.
The recommendations and financial support provided through this funding program are designed to spur tourism development activities at the local level that maintain and create jobs, attract tourists, and enhance the visitor experience.
These grants provide an excellent opportunity to showcase our city’s nearly 200-year history and help drive tourism downtown,” said Barrie Aycock, Clarkesville Mayor. “We have a unique asset in the old cemetery as well as the historic Mauldin House. Being able to restore, rejuvenate and better ‘tell our story’ to our residents and visitors is tremendous.”
“There is a tremendous amount of restoration work needed at the Old Cemetery,” added Aycock. “The $10,000 grant will only pay for a part of the Master Plan cost. Additional funds will need to be raised from the community to pay for the completion of the plan, and grave and grounds restoration. A non-profit organization has been created and information will be forthcoming soon about future fundraising efforts for the Cemetery. “
Recipients of the 2017 Tourism Product Development Funding Program include:
- Bartow County Government – George Washington Carver Park Improvement Project
- Chattooga County – Paradise Gardens Foundation, Inc. Office Renovation for Airbnb
- City of Clarkesville – The Old Clarkesville Cemetery Master Plan
- City of Clarkesville – Mauldin House Visitors Center Interpretative Exhibit
- City of Colquitt – Storytelling Murals
- City of Darien DDA – Historic Restoration Historic Vessel, Kit Jones
- City of Dublin – MLK Monument Lleras Sculpture, Landscaping & Lighting
- City of Forsyth – Wayfinding Signs for Forsyth
- City of Hawkinsville – Flicks on the Bricks
- City of Shellman – Shellman Grain Bin Murals
- City of Zebulon – Southside Photo Walk
- Meriwether County Industrial Development Authority – Meriwether County Murals Trail
- Randolph County Board of Commissioners – Randolph County Welcome Center Interactive Tourism Project
- Sandersville Downtown Development Authority – Sandersville Downtown PA/Speaker System