News: $25K in upgrades coming to Bussey Point Recreation Area
Story by Tracy Robillard
SAVANNAH, Ga. - Thanks to a partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Savannah District and several community groups surrounding J. Strom Thurmond Dam and Lake, the Bussey Point recreation area will soon receive $25,000 worth of improvements.
The funds were provided by the Corps' national Handshake Partnership Program, which provides a source of seed money to initiate new or enhance existing recreation and natural resource projects through community partnerships.
"Handshake funds are an excellent way for us to improve facilities for the public to enjoy, while also strengthening partnerships in our community," said Chrissy Westerberg, recreation chief ranger for the Thurmond Lake Office. "The Corps provides initial funding, and in return, our partners work with us to help build, operate and maintain these facilities."
The Corps Thurmond Lake Office partnered with the Central Savannah River Area Equestrian Club, The Back Country Horsemen of Middle and South Georgia, and the Boy Scouts of America Troop 10. Together, these groups will provide the following upgrades:
- Improve campsite driveways on sites 1 through 10 so they can accommodate horse trailers;
- Add a new exit road to improve traffic flow in the park;
- Drill a new well in the camping loop;
- Expand day use parking adjacent to the wilderness area.
During this project, portions of the park will be closed for construction. Visitors may not be able to access all areas of the park throughout the late summer and early autumn season.
Bussey Point is a 2,545-acre peninsula bordering J. Strom Thurmond Lake at the confluence of the Savannah and Little Rivers in Lincoln County, Ga. It offers visitors more than 20 miles of trails for horseback riding, cycling and hiking, along with primitive camping and picnic sites.
The Handshake Partnership Program began in 2004 and is authorized under Section 225 of the Water Resources Development Act of 1992. It encourages community engagement and promotes mutually beneficial activities between the Corps and partner organizations. The program allows the Corps to accept money, materials and volunteer services — following the approval of a partnership agreement — to accomplish work programs.
Applications for the Handshake funds are evaluated based on sustainability; partnership value; recreational benefit; environmental stewardship value; communication and education value; and innovativeness.
For more information on the Corps of Engineers Handshake Partnership Program, visit http://corpslakes.usace.army.mil/employees/challenge/handshake.cfm
For questions about the partnership or temporary closures, please contact Chrissy Westerberg at 1-800-533-3478.