FOLAR receives $250k for Olde Town trail segment
The Cameron Foundation awards grant for pathway along Patton Park
PETERSBURG — The Cameron Foundation’s Board of Directors has approved a $250,000 grant for the Friends of the Lower Appomattox River (FOLAR) to improve an important section of the Appomattox River Trail in Petersburg.
The grant will go towards design development, preconstruction engineering and construction of the trail and accompanying signage between University Boulevard and the Boulevard in Old Towne Petersburg.
“This area in particular is rife with history, recreational opportunities and connectivity possibilities,” said J.
said J. Todd Graham, president of The Cameron Foundation, in a statement. “And, more broadly, FOLAR’s focus on park and linear trail development along the Lower Appomattox River will help to improve the quality of life and increase the culture of health and active lifestyle in the region.”
By creating a 5,500foot linear trail for pedestrians and cyclists near Patton Park, this project will improve walking and biking paths in Old Towne, guide visitors through historic Petersburg and provide access to the park and riverfront. The project also creates opportunities to address shoreline restoration and enhance the land buffer along the river to help protect water quality.
“The tremendous potential of this centrally located Patton Park-historic Petersburg section of the Appomattox River Trail, coupled with the demonstrated success of sections of trail in Colonial Heights and Hopewell, has made our community excited for the progress this funding provides,” said FOLAR chair Ken Newman in a statement.
Community members and stakeholders will have a chance to provide feedback while the plans for this project are finalized, and local contractors and volunteers will contribute to the construction of this trail over the next two years.
Established in 2017 and funded by The Cameron Foundation, the master plan for the Appomattox River Trail outlines the phased building of coordinated trail sections and park improvements throughout six municipalities.
The ultimate goal of the Appomattox River Trail is to “connect contiguous miles of regional byway trails, improve river access, provide access to healthy activities for individuals and families in Petersburg and surrounding communities, improve the economic vitality of the region and conserve and protect the natural river environment,” FOLAR Executive Director Wendy Austin said in a statement.
FOLAR will be able to use $50,000 of this award as matching funds towards a $100,000 challenge grant secured from the Mary Morton Parsons Foundation in Richmond. The Parsons grant can only be collected if FOLAR raises the matching funds in full by May 2019, and now, FOLAR is more than halfway there.
Colonial Heights’ Appomattox River Trail includes an area of improved, paved, shared-use path.