Since the idea of revitalizing the Lake Wichita area came to be, progress has been left up to volunteers, until now.
The Lake Wichita Chapter of Friends of Reservoirs will now be paying Stewart Harvey as its executive director.
“This would be something that I could really sink my teeth into,” Harvey said. Stewart Harvey said that’s one of the reasons he accepted this new position, in addition to wanting to help the revitalization committee acquire the million dollars needed for the current priority project: the boardwalk.
That money is needed in hand by July 16th’s Wichita Falls City Council meeting for the Texas Parks and Wildlife matching grant.
“This would be something very impactful,” Harvey said. A native of Wichita Falls, Harvey left in the 90’s and came back to the area in 2011. It’s ironic, he said, being now involved with the lake, as growing up there was neither much discussion, nor did he give that much attention to Lake Wichita.
“The mind of someone who’s in their young 20’s is not necessarily focused on the community and what quality of life looks like and what that is. Now, when I came back, that was a different story,” Harvey said.
That story involves becoming a parent, thus giving attention to quality of life options for his family, one of those being Lake Wichita.
“The folks that are embodying the intentionality of the project have been doing this all along. You know, the focus needs to be on them, what they’re doing, what efforts they’re bringing to the table. I see my job as someone who is connecting, who is growing and building relationships,” Harvey said.
Lake Wichita Revitalization Committee Chair Penny Miller said with funding deadlines coming soon, specifically regarding the boardwalk, now’s a crucial time to have Harvey offer his expertise from the world of consulting.
“The project has been managed entirely by volunteers; but, we’re at the point where we need somebody that can focus on a lot of the individual projects and devote some effort to it,” Miller said.
“I want folks to understand that by investing in a revitalized Lake Wichita that there is economic return,” Harvey said.
If you’d like to donate any amount to Lake Wichita Revitalization efforts, click here.