Jonathan Belcher, right, VCEDA Executive Director/General Counsel, presents a ceremonial check for the up to $39,000 grant to Breaks Interstate Park to help with the purchase of e-bikes and other outdoor adventure equipment. Also in photo, are Austin Bradley, left, Breaks Park Superintendent, and Tim Cleary, Supervisor of Outdoor Adventure activity at the park.

LEBANON, VA – March 16, 2018 –  Electric bicycles, mountain bikes and kayaks will be among the new adventure offerings at the Breaks Interstate Park made possible in part by an up to $39,000 grant from the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority (VCEDA). The grant was formally closed Thursday at the VCEDA office in Lebanon.

“VCEDA has been a long-standing supporter of the Breaks Interstate Park and has helped to provide funding for a variety of projects at the park from the water park to a zipline and now for the equipment needed to add to the adventure offerings at the park,” said Jonathan Belcher, VCEDA executive director/general counsel. “Our board recognized the potential for tourism as an economic development strategy several years ago.”

In addition to utilizing the funds for the bikes and kayaks, the park will use the funding to replace rusted stairwells at the hotel units.

“We very much appreciate VCEDA and its willingness to continue to invest in the Breaks Interstate Park,” said Austin Bradley, Breaks Interstate Park superintendent. “The funds VCEDA has provided to us through the years, in addition to some of the civil penalties funds which have now been made available to us, go a long way to helping us to develop and distinguish ourselves as an adventure destination.”

Bradley noted the park has purchased three e-bikes and five mountain bikes which it will offer for rent to park visitors. The kayaks identified as part of the project have not yet been purchased but once purchased will be used to provide excursions on the Russell Fork River outside of whitewater season and will supplement those times when private outfitters are not offering kayak trip services.

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About Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority and Virginia’s e-Region: The Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority, created by the Virginia General Assembly in 1988 to enhance and diversify the region’s economy and help create jobs, markets Virginia’s e-Region and its focus on electronic information technology, energy, education and emerging technologies. VCEDA is a unique economic development organization that manages funds for economic development projects from a percentage of the coal and natural gas severance taxes paid by coal and natural gas companies that operate in the region. Located in southwestern Virginia, the region includes Buchanan, Dickenson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Tazewell, and Wise counties and the City of Norton. www.vaceda.org or www.e-Region.org.