OAK HILL, WV (WVNS) — Every year, the National Coal Heritage Area Authority gives out grants to 30 or so projects with each grant awarding $25,000.
Previously funded projects include trailhead signage for the McManus Trail at the Beckley Art Park and an interpretive site in Mount Hope.
Christy Bailey, the executive director for the Coal Authority, said the projects usually follow certain themes.
“We have a management plan that’s approved by the National Park Service and in that, we have interpretive themes,” said Bailey. “So we always look for things that connect to those interpretive themes. The Business of Coal, Coal Communities, the way the area is coming back, using tourism as a tool to come back from the loss of coal mining jobs.”
These projects and the themes they focus on do more than let the locals learn more about the Mountain State’s heritage.
“We are pretty tourism focused so it gives people a chance to get some information when they’re here visiting. A lot of people come here for hiking, biking, those kinds of things, but those tourists also want to know something about where they’re at.”
Only organizations like non-profits, local and state governments, educational institutions and other state agencies can apply for these grants.
The deadline is March 3rd at 4 p.m.