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MVK: Grenada Lake Water Safety Partnership with Chambers of Commerce

Carnival and Arts/Crafts areas by the spillway
CorpsÂ’ Water Safety Day Camp attendees

Lake: Grenada Lake, MS

Partners: USACE; Grenada City Officials; City of Grenada Chamber of Commerce; Grenada Tourism Committee

Partnership Type: Multi-Agency

Corps POC: Park Manager Don Gober

Story: When a city is located in close proximity to a major interstate highway and is also centrally located between two metropolitan cities, it could be the setting for a marketing success. But, add the fact that the city is also located less than five miles from a large body of water owned and operated by the Corps of Engineers and you have a businessmanÂ’s dream. In theory, the scenario above outlines favorable conditions for growth in citizenry, industry and tourism. The exact conditions have been present for years in Grenada, MS. The city of Grenada is located just off Interstate Highway 55 and is approximately 100 miles between Memphis, TN and Jackson, MS. It is also the Home of Grenada Lake, a haven for sports and recreation enthusiasts of all kinds. Savvy businessmen and civic leaders recognized the potential for the city about 12 years ago when they formed a partnership between the Grenada Chamber of Commerce, Grenada Tourism Committee, civic leaders, and the Corps of Engineers. Of course, the various groups entered into the partnership with their own agendas. The Chamber, Tourism Committee, and civic leaders were most concerned with increasing city revenues and bringing tourists from across the nation to the city of Grenada. The Corps of Engineers wanted to get their water safety messages out to the masses instead of the handfuls that were being reached by their ranger force on weekends and during small events held at the lake by various groups. As a result of the union, a large annual event "Thunder On Water Safe Boating Festival" was begun. "Thunder" is held in conjunction with National Safe Boating Week and has been listed as one of the top ten summer events in the Southeast. There is something for everyone at Thunder. Besides the many vendors who sell every type of food imaginable, there is also an arts and crafts area, a carnival, fishing rodeo, concerts, fireworks and much, much more. You may wonder what the Corps gets out of the union. As host to the festival, Grenada Lake gets plenty of publicity and the opportunity to reach thousands with their summer water safety campaign. In the middle of the weeklong event, you will find water safety signs/banners, television and radio commercials about water safety, a water safety booth and day camp, and rangers galore spreading the water safety message to thousands of visitors who come to participate in the experience known as Thunder. The event brings an estimated $4 million into the local economy.

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