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Natrona County seeking federal grant to match $230K and jumpstart funding of wayfinding project

(RDG Planning and Design , City of Casper)

CASPER, Wyo. — The Natrona County Commission is applying for federal funds administered through the National Parks Service to fund a portion of a countywide wayfinding signage project.

The commission approved a resolution applying for the grant at its regular meeting Tuesday, November 16. If approved, the Land and Water Conservation Fund would match $230,000 of county funds for a total of $460K toward the project. Though designs have been finalized, the project (estimated to cost between $1.2 and $2 million to fully deploy) won’t go out to bid until the county’s municipalities commit funds.

RDG Planning & Design developed a cohesive design for the City of Casper metropolitan area’s destination assets two years ago. In 2020, assets countywide — like Casper Mountain areas, Alcova and Pathfinder, and destinations in other municipalities — were enrolled into the overall plan.

The county’s resolution notes the need to convey “several layers of information” for use of trails and parks on Casper Mountain, including seasonal safety information, hours of operation, and direction of travel.

An example of where that is currently lacking, according to commissioner and Visit Casper CEO Brook Kaufman, is the sign on Casper Mountain Road where the road splits to go either to Hogadon or Beartrap Meadow.

“You see that there are seven or eight different arrow signs that take you somewhere,” Kaufman told Oil City. “If you are a visitor, you are basically forced to stop in the road and look and say, ‘Okay, where am I going?’”

“There’s too much in some aspects, and there’s not enough in others. We need it to be easy for people to navigate, and not overwhelming.”

Casper Mayor and Visit Casper board member Steve Freel told Kaufman at the last board meeting earlier in November that though the city council had not addressed the wayfinding plan recently, he believed there was “an appetite” for it and it would likely be addressed in the near future.