A popular recreational park will soon see upgrades. Tuesday, the State of Tennessee awarded Hamilton County with a tourism grant to improve Chester Frost Park. 

County officials say the population in Hamilton County has increased by 17,000 people in the last five years, they hope this grant will improve tourism in the Tennessee Valley. About 160,000 people visit Chester Frost Park every year.

Chester Frost Park is tucked away in Hixson; it's one of the largest public areas on Lake Chickamauga.

The State of Tennessee awarded Hamilton County with a $20,000 tourism grant to improve usage and tourism.

"There's a lot going on in the recreation field especially when it's close to the water we have campsites out there and a whole bunch of amenities we can use in various ways," Lee Norris with Hamilton County said.

61 projects applied for the grant, and 29 were awarded funds to benefit their residents and visitors to the state.

In a press conference, Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger said the Tennessee Valley has great outdoor recreation opportunities, but knows the county can do better.

Hamilton County plans to match the funds and hire consultants to determine how to best improve the park.

“The lessons we learn here can be applied to another county parks, nature park, river walk down on the river and further future park efforts,” Norris said.

Coppinger said the opportunities the grant will provide will create new jobs and tax revenue for the county.

Park visitors said they are glad to see the state and county investing in a popular destination in Hixson.

County officials said the county will hold community meetings to find the best ways to use the property.