Two foundations give needed funds to Lake Wichita revitalization efforts

Local News

Applause breaks out at Tuesday’s Lake Wichita Revitalization Committee meeting, after it was revealed two foundations will be supporting Lake Wichita revitalization efforts.

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — “I want to thank everybody that’s here and everybody that’s been here for their time and their effort and their passion. This is awesome,” an emotion-filled former Lake Wichita Revitalization Committee Chair and founding member Steve Garner said.

He is one of many, so happy about the news of Tuesday’s Lake Wichita Revitalization Committee meeting. The committee now has the pledged matching funds to complete the boardwalk project.

A total of $600,000 is coming from the J.S. Bridwell Foundation and the Kimbell Family Foundation.

“They look at the lake as a community asset and the realize it’s one of the most valuable ones that we have in our portfolio,” Stuart Harvey, Lake Wichita Friends of Reservoirs Executive Director said. “And so, they are making intentional investments in that we will reap returns on for generations.”

And as big as this news is, it’s by far not the first or the last big step for Lake Wichita.

“Well, of course, the first big one was the permit and that took, what, three years to get that permit. This is number two and now we just press on to three and four and keep right on going,” Lake Wichita Revitalization Committee Chair Penny Miller said.

But it is the last big moment for Tom Lang who, along with Garner, helped establish the committee. He’s moving on, becoming the Texas Parks and Wildlife Freshwater Fisheries Center Director in Athens, Texas.

“I’m very proud to call this part of my heritage and lineage, to have been able to call the Wichita Falls community home,” Lang said. “And so, I would just like my final words to be a challenge to the community to take ownership and to be the change you wish to see in the world.”

The boardwalk is expected to be completed by May 2020.

The next project in the queue is the expansion and improvement of the Kemp Boulevard boat ramp.

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