The U.S. Secretary of Commerce announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding $2 million to The Wilds (Ohio) to construct a 60-acres recreational vehicle campground at the wildlife conservation center in Muskingum County.
As per a report, the grant is funded under the American Rescue Plan.
The grant will aid in attracting visitors to the 10,000-acre park, situated on reclaimed coal mine land along the Appalachian Byway.
The EDA investment will be matched by $700,000 in local funds and is predicted to create 100 jobs, retain 25 jobs, and bring in $500,000 in private investment, according to grantee estimates.
“President Biden’s American Rescue Plan delivers federal resources to communities to ensure our nation not only recovers from the pandemic but builds a better America,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo.
Raimondo added that the EDA investment in The Wilds will boost tourism and outdoor recreation at the animal safari park, as well as other local tourist destinations in eastern Ohio, and help bring back jobs to the region.
The project is funded by EDA’s $240 million American Rescue Plan Travel, Tourism, and Outdoor Recreation program. EDA granted $510 million in grant money to all 50 states and territories in 2021.
These two programs were designed to speed up the recovery of communities that depend on tourism, travel, and outdoor recreation industries.