Elaine WalkerFRANKFORT, Ky. – Elaine Walker will be the commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Parks, Tourism, Arts and Heritage Secretary Marcheta Sparrow announced today.
Walker, who has served as the secretary of state since she was appointed in January of this year by Gov. Steve Beshear, will begin her duties with state parks on Jan. 2, 2012. She previously served as mayor of Bowling Greenfor six years.
She replaces Gerry van der Meer, who resigned after nearly four years as commissioner.
“Elaine Walker’s experience as a manager will be a good fit for Kentucky State Parks,” Sparrow said. “Elaine has demonstrated her skills as a mayor and as secretary of state and we look forward to having her oversee our park system.”
“I want to thank Gerry van der Meer for his service to the Kentucky State Parks,” Sparrow added. “We appreciate his hard work and dedication.”
The Kentucky State Parks are made up of 51 parks throughout the state and include resorts, recreation parks and historic sites. The department has approximately 900 full time employees. The parks cover some 45,900 acres of land and include attractions such as Cumberland Falls, Natural Bridge, My Old Kentucky Home and three resorts in the Land Between the Lakes region. The park system has 18 golf courses, more than 250 miles of hiking trails, restaurants, campgrounds, marinas and a variety of recreational programs.
“Our Kentucky State Parks are beautiful jewels that help support our communities and attract tourists,” Walker said. “I look forward to working with the staff as we improve and protect our state parks.”
During her six years as mayor of Bowling Green, the city created a number of new park facilities that include Circus Square Park, an anchor in downtown Bowling Green; the highly successful Skate Park; Kummer/Little Recreation Center and a small neighborhood park at Lee Square. The city also operates the Crosswinds, Riverview and Paul Walker golf courses. “That involvement taught me that having a healthy park system is paramount to encouraging a healthy, active community,” Walkersaid.
Walker has also served in various leadership positions while she was mayor of Bowling Green and has been active in historic preservation. While mayor, Walker spearheaded programs to increase the rate of home ownership, streamlined the building permit process, worked to support the creation of small businesses and was a strong advocate for tourism and economic development.
Walker and her husband C. Dorian Walker have two grown children.
Deputy Parks Commissioner Steve Brooks will head the department during the interim period.
PERRYVILLE, Ky. -- Perryville Battlefield State Historic Site, the subject of a story on the Travel Channel’s “Ghost Adventures,” offers opportunities to those interested in paranormal investigations.
The “Ghost Adventures” segment with Perryville Battlefield airs Friday, Dec. 2, at 9 p.m. EST.
If you want to come investigate the Perryville Battlefield yourself, please visit: http://www.perryvillebattlefield.org/html/paranormal_agreement.html or call the park at 859-332-8631. The park requires a permit for this activity. The cost is $250 for a group of up to 10, and $25 per each additional person. For information about future paranormal investigation events at the park, checkwww.perryvillebattlefield.org
Perryville is the scene of the most destructive Civil War battle in the state, with the number of wounded, killed or missing numbering more than 7,000. The park museum tells of the battle that was the South’s last serious attempt to gain possession of Kentucky. The battlefield is one of the most unaltered Civil War sites in the nation; vistas today remain virtually those soldiers saw on that fateful day in 1862.
Perryville will be commemorating the 150th anniversary of the battle in 2012 during its annual re-enactment weekend Oct. 5-7.
Harley and Painted Cow curator Maureen Dozier
The Painted Cow Gallery will be hosting an excitingOne Man Art Showat the gallery across the street from the Lawrence County CourthouseSaturday, Dec. 3rdfrom noon until 6:00 p.m.If you are not familiar withthis young and excitinglocal artistHarley FanninIt's worth the trip to viewhis original contemporary visionof life through his art.There will be over 30 brand new pieces,In addition to previous pieces of his artwork already being showcased in the gallery.Meeting him and experiencing his artworkfirst handis definitely worth the trip toLouisa, Kentucky.Since Harley is very diverse,his artwork ranges in color, focal points, mediums, sizes, and pricing.There's something for everyone and it's all ready for gift givingor to start your very own collection.Light refreshments will be served.Painted Cow Gallery appreciates your support of talented local artists.
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