Bourbon County officials think outside the box to attract and retain businesses


Bourbon County receives a grant worth more than $29,000 for upgrades to the county’s trail system.

Bourbon County leaders learned this week they’ve been awarded the funds through the Blue Cross Blue Shield Pathways to a Healthy Kansas Program. 

County officials say the grant is a direct result of the passing of the A.B.C. Trails Resolution earlier this year. That program combines efforts of active transportation development in Allen, Bourbon and Crawford Counties.

Along with helping to continue to develop the trails system, county officials say this also plays a role in the economic future of Bourbon County. They say things like the trail system at Gunn Park can plan a role in attracting and retaining business in the community.

“Having assets in the community that enhance our quality of life are things that businesses look at when they’re looking at those types of decisions,” says Jody Hoener, Bourbon County Economic Development Director.

No final plans for how to spend the grant funds have been announced yet.

Volunteers in Ft. Scott work to add to the bike trail system at Gunn Park.

Gunn Park now features a “pump track” at the park’s entrance. A pump track is a course designed to help riders learn to ride their bikes without peddling. While it does features some more advanced obstacles, volunteers say with several categories of trails available in Gunn Park, the track can help develop more advanced mountain biking skills.

“That was kind of the idea behind it was younger kids can come here and ride, it’s not in the trails, you know, very family friendly,” says Shane Walker, Gunn Park Trails Volunteer.

Walker says in the future, the volunteers plan to add other features, like log crossings and bridges.

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