Appalachian Wildlife Foundation Receives USDA Loan Approval

Corbin, KY. - The Appalachian Wildlife Foundation receives USDA loan guarantee approval.

The Appalachian Wildlife Foundation announced that it has received approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture of a $23.5 million loan guarantee for the construction of the visitor center at the Appalachian Wildlife Center.

Hacker Brothers Construction began work at the site in March and will now gear up to resume construction activities on the visitor center within sixty days. The Appalachian Wildlife Center is on schedule to open to the public in summer 2021.

Appalachian Wildlife Foundation President David Ledford commented, “There was a lot of moving parts to this process and we are excited to have it completed. This was our largest hurdle to get over to ensure the success of the project. Our team us anxious to move forward.”

The visitor center will be an 80,000 square foot building that will contain two museums, a theater, an artisans hall, a birders hall, a gift shop, a 300-seat restaurant, classrooms and offices. The building will sit on a 500-acre tract that will also host a zoo, bird observatories, elk viewing pavilions, a learning zone, an accessible nature trail, a monuments park and numerous art displays.

The Appalachian Wildlife Center will open in the summer of 2021. By 2023, it will attract over 850,000 visitors a year and generate over $174 million in regional spending.

The Appalachian Wildlife Foundation is a Corbin, Kentucky based nonprofit, 501 (c) (3) organization.

Tourism is one of the seven goals outlined in SOAR’s Blueprint for the Future of Appalachia. To learn more about the Blueprint, visit