News Stories

"Friends of Philpott Lake" meet to volunteer time, resources

Published April 10, 2007

    On March 31, 2007, a group of more than a hundred citizens from the tri-county areas of Franklin, Patrick and Henry met at Jamison Mill Park to kick-off the organization of “Friends of Philpott Lake”.  Representatives from local organizations, special interest groups and the US Army Corps of Engineers addressed the citizen group and discussed the benefits that a Friends group could offer. 

   Philpott Operations Manager Kevin McDaniels explained that a large portion of the Army’s budget has been diverted to support the war in Iraq and to restoration projects created by devastating hurricanes such as Katrina.  McDaniels further explained that some of the high maintenance, low use areas of Philpott faced closure without the help of volunteer groups such as Friends of Philpott.   Friends groups, which are 501C3, have the opportunity to apply for funding and / or grants and accomplish work that we as an agency cannot…either due to restrictions placed on grants or because of government regulations.  The Friends group can determine work that they would like to see accomplished, as well as help the Corps complete backlog maintenance on other work in our five-year plan.

   R.G. Absher, Assistant Manager of W. Kerr Scott Lake, gave testimonial to the accomplishments of Friends of W. Kerr Scott Lake which has been active for a number of years.  Using fund raising initiatives and grant applications, Friends of W. Kerr Scott constructed a state-of-the-art 900 seat amphitheater.  The Friends also sponsor special events such as boat regattas, concerts, educational camps, environmental clean-ups, and they help fund priority environmental restoration, conservation, and wildlife improvement projects.

   David Atkinson, the founding member of Friends of Philpott Lake, encouraged attendees to become actively involved in supporting the resource the people enjoy to use.   He discussed how the group could become involved in projects which would enhance positive development of recreation facilities by improving hiking trails, canoe launches, campsites, waterfowl habitat and the environmental educational center.

   The audience had a chance to interface with Corps and County officials and ask questions.  Following the discussions, perspective members were given the opportunity to sign-up and asked to indicate their geographic area of interest. The participants also enjoyed a barbecue cookout, were invited to paddle canoes in the lake, and were entertained by local bluegrass musicians and enjoyed visiting friends and neighbors.