Annual Spring River Clean-up – Saturday, March 25, 2017. We’ll meet at different sites along the river to restore healthy shorelines by removing litter, debris, and trash.


Appomattox Regional Riverside Park 5K TRAIL RUN – Saturday, April 8th.  Prince George County hosts a run through the woods and along the Appomattox River Trail (ART).


RiverFest! on the ART – Saturday, April 29th. A day of family fun to celebrate and learn about our river heritage, nature, and recreation at historic Ferndale Appomattox Riverside Park.


JRAC Annual Regional River Clean-up – Saturday, September 9th. Join the regional clean-up of the James River and its tributaries (Hint: Appomattox River). FOLAR volunteers will meet at sites along the river.


10TH Annual Paddle or Battle the Appomattox River – Saturday, September 30th. A leisurely paddle or exciting race to the finish.

December Public Meetings in Hopewell and Petersburg

All Residents are Invited to Attend Public Meetings to Identify Routes and Symbols for Neighborhood Access to the Appomattox River Trail


FOLAR is hosting three public community meetings to present the Appomattox River Trail (ART) Draft Master Plan and receive public input into recommendations for neighborhood access routes and signage.

The public is invited to all meeting dates, times and locations. There is particular interest in hearing from residents in the neighborhoods along the Appomattox Riverside.

Meeting Dates, Time, Locations:

December 13th, 1:00PM – 3:00PM at the Petersburg YMCA, 120 N Madison St, Petersburg, VA 23803

TUESDAY EVENING, December 13th, 5:30 – 7:30PM at Pathways, 1200 W. Washington St.  Petersburg, VA 23803

THURSDAY EVENING, December 15th, 5:00 – 7:00PM at the Hopewell Recreation & Parks, 100 W City Point Rd, Hopewell, VA 23860

You can provide your input about your neighborhood online at:

The neighborhoods along the river in the Cities of Hopewell and Petersburg are the focus of these meetings in order to help provide increased opportunities for residents to add more physical activity into their daily routines as part of a grant from the Crater Health District (CHD). The Crater Health District works to foster healthy communities through disease prevention & control, health promotion, environmental protection and emergency preparedness & response.

Two agencies, Land Planning & Design Associates and AB Design, will help facilitate the public meetings. These same two agencies have been working to develop the overall ART Master Plan since June of this year through funding from the Cameron Foundation. The neighborhood access information gathered at these community meetings will be integrated into the overall ART Master Plan.  The final planning document is scheduled for completion in January 2017.

The Draft Master Plan and logo/signage design is available at the FOLAR website,


Questions? Contact: Wendy Austin, FOLAR Executive Director at 804-543-0325 or

FOLAR FALL FLING Legacy Benefit – December 1st

Get your tickets now – only a few days left until the event!

Celebrating 15 Years of FOLAR Success
For Our Communities!



Retiring FOLAR Board Chair – Lifetime Achievement

Presentation of

Steve Henry, Hopewell Cogeneration

Hopewell Manufacturers Association

The Cameron Foundation

Becky McDonough
Trip Pollard

Heather Barrar

Prince George Parks & Recreation

Victor and Reiko Liu

Chris Rizzo

Tara Ciavarella and Friends
John Eliades
Brandon Jameson

~ ~


Appomattox River Soil & Water Conservation District
Area Rotary Clubs
Cameron Foundation
City of Hopewell
Dinwiddie County
Dominion Resources, Inc.
Hopewell Cogeneration
Hopewell Manufacturers Association
NiSource Foundation
Virginia American Water
Vulcan Materials Company

~ ~

Thursday, December 1st, 5:30 – 8PM at Historic Weston Manor in Hopewell

Music by Johnny Jones and Friends

 Heavy hor d’oeuvres ~ Select Beer & Wine

 TICKETS ARE $35 each – Please RSVP by November 26, 2016

Event proceeds support FOLAR’s river and trail development and conservation


Space Available: __ $100 Full Pg.  $50 Half Pg.  __$25 Qtr. Pg.

Please contact Johnny Partin at before November 23, 2016 to reserve space.



PLATINUM $1,000 – (Includes 8 tickets; Full Page message in Commemorative Program; PA announcement; Prominent logo on event signs/av display and online)

GOLD $500 – (Includes 4 tickets; Half Page message in Commemorative Program; logo on event signs/av display and online)

SILVER $250 – (Includes 2 tickets; Quarter Page message in Commemorative Program; logo on event signs/av display and online)

For more information or to sponsor and/or place a message in the program please contact Johnny Partin at before November 23, 2016.

Canomobile is Back!

Canomobile is Back in Hopewell on November 9 and 10, 2016

FOLAR Welcomes the Canoemobile Floating Classroom Back to Hopewell’s City Park!

For the third year in a row more than 300 students from elementary schools in Hopewell and Petersburg will experience the learning, health benefits, and inspiration that can be derived from a paddle on the river. Many for the first time. Canoemobile is a roving fleet of six hand-made, 24 foot long Voyageur canoes, that travels across America to bring environmental literacy and dynamic outdoor learning experiences to urban youth. The two day outreach event on November 9th & 10th in Hopewell is provided by Wilderness Inquiry, a non-profit outdoor recreation and education organization from Minneapolis, MN, and sponsored by the National Parks Conservation Association in coordination with the Petersburg National Battlefield.

FOLAR has coordinated additional programming to be provided by Virginia American Water, the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, the Hopewell Stormwater Management Division, and Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. This year will not feature a community day event. You are welcome to come observe or volunteer to help. Contact Wendy Austin at
Canoemobile will be at Hopewell City Park on the beautiful Appomattox River.
205 Appomattox Street, Hopewell VA 23680

FOLAR_logo_COLOR_REVERSE        npca-logo      National_Park_Service     wilderness-inquiry-logo

Nature and Wildlife on Appomattox River

Balancing nature and wildlife of the Appomattox
0 Comments | Progress – Index, The; Petersburg, Va., Aug 13, 2006 | by T DEVON ROBINSON
Editor’s note: Today, The Progress-Index continues its series on the Appomattox River. Each Sunday through August 27, we will examine the many ways that people are connected to the river, from a historical perspective, a current viewpoint and a look to the future. This week: Wildlife and Friends of the Lower Appomattox River. Next week: Lake Chesdin and the Brasfield Dam.

Although the Appomattox River drove the economy of the Tri- Cities for over 300 years, it currently looks nearly untouched by humans.

Where mill wheels once churned, box elders and trumpet creepers dominate the shore. Where hogsheads of tobacco were once loaded, snowy egrets now perch and water moccasins slither.

Through the efforts of the Friends of the Lower Appomattox River (FOLAR) these wild sections will not only be preserved but also enhanced to provide more access.

FOLAR is in the process of establishing blueways (boat routes) and greenways (nature trails) on the river, which will tie into historic sites along the river, parks and established stops on the Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail, said R. Steve Thomas, an Explorer Scout Troop leader and member of FOLAR.

In the Tri-Cities, the fall line area marks where the majority of costal birds cease traveling west. From near the Brasfield Dam down to the James River and beyond, it is possible to see great blue herons, Canada geese, bald eagles, osprey and snowy egrets. Just east of the confluence of the Appomattox and James rivers, a pair of rare peregrine falcons occupies a nest on the north tower of the Benjamin Harrison Bridge.

There are three designated stops on the trail along the river, Thomas said.

Point of Rocks Park in eastern Chesterfield County offers the opportunity to watch tidal birds along its establish trails near and in its tidal freshwater marsh.

The other river stops include the Appomattox River Boat Launch, accessible from the Chesterfield County side of the Brasfield Dam and the Appomattox Riverside Park.

Along with coastal birds, other birds native to non-coastal areas can be found in the wooded and freshwater areas along the river.

In the river is a wide variety of fish, according to a report from FOLAR. They include resident fish — such as bass, mackerel, catfish and carp — and herring and shad, which migrate to the fall line in the spring.

Along with birds and fish, there are small animals that live in the trees and shrubs in the area. Along the shore, it is possible to spot beavers, rabbits, raccoons and water snakes, Thomas said.

Although there are forests nearby, there is not real threat of coming across larger animals, such as a bear, along the river. The largest animal that may be found at the river is deer and even that is a rarity.

“They’d much rather be in your backyard or your garden,” Thomas said.

– T. DeVon Robinson may be reached at 722-5160.

Copyright c The Progress-Index 2006
Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning Company. All rights Reserved.

Friends help river, and recreation along the Appomattox

Friends help river, and recreation along Appomattox
0 Comments | Progress – Index, The; Petersburg, Va., Aug 5, 2007
It’s good to have friends, even if you’re a river.

Friends help you, especially if you’re down and need a lift.

That’s what has happened to the Appomattox River recently.

Friends of the Lower Appomattox River recently completed the installation of two foot bridges across the river.

One bridge — 78-feet-long — connects to an island while a shorter bridge connects the other side of the island back to the mainland.

The bridges, known as the Battersea Bridges, are a critical element in a network of trails being constructed by Friends of the Lower Appomattox River. The regional, nonprofit group is working to complete a system of trails along the river from the dam at Lake Chesdin to the confluence with the James River at City Point in Hopewell.

The $115,000 bridge project connects two portions of trail that already exist in Petersburg.

The group received a number of sizeable grants which helped to offset the cost of the project, including $20,000 from Nysource and $45,000 from the Cameron Foundation. Other major contributors included Dominion, Boehringer Iingelheim Chemical Co., Vulcan Materials, the City of Petersburg, the Appomattox Soil and Water Conservation District and several other private donors.

The group understands something that should be emphasized to area government officials. The Appomattox River and the James River are major assets to the area and they should be utilized as much as possible to promote a good quality of life.

Petersburg Mayor Annie M. Mickens said the bridges were a great amenity in the city. She’s right about that.

She also said the bridges will help Petersburg to sell the city. Maybe.

What would really sell the city would be establish a riverfront park or nature area. An 88-acre waterfront park, at a possible price tag of $5 million to $12 million, complete with a boardwalk and amphitheater, was a key recommendations the Regional/Urban Design Assistance Team unveiled to Petersburg residents this spring.

The R/UDAT plan recommended that the money for the park be budgeted within the next three years. The park would include an art trail, boardwalk and amphitheater and would connect open spaces near the harbor, the diversion channel of the Appomattox River on the north side of Pocahontas Island and the Appomattox River to the west of Pocahontas Island.

That park, combined with the existing trail system, would go a long way to providing a recreational jewel to Petersburg. It would be a key part of the city’s revitalization.

The river is a resource we need to maximize.

“It’s just a marvelous amenity,” Mickens said of the trail system. “The open air, the clean smell of the air, the sound of the water. It’s just a marvelous blueway and greenway trail system.”

We agree.

But will Petersburg move forward with a riverside park in order to promote the recreational and quality-of-life aspect of the Appomattox River?”

Copyright c The Progress-Index 2007
Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning Company. All rights Reserved.

Trail system along Appomattox Asset to area

Trail system along Appomattox River a key asset to the area
0 Comments | Progress – Index, The; Petersburg, Va., Oct 12, 2008
Volunteers and local governments are banding together in a large effort to turn the Appomattox River into a key recreational asset in the Tri-Cities.

From the George F. Brasfield dam to the confluence of the Appomattox and the James rivers work has been ongoing to develop a 22.8 mile trail.

When completed residents of the area will have the ability to either bike, walk, canoe or kayak the length of the trail through Dinwiddie, Chesterfield, Petersburg, Colonial Heights, Prince George and Hopewell.

Much of the work on the trail to this point has been carried out by volunteers working with the Friends Of the Lower Appomattox River, or FOLAR, to help make the green and blue trail.

The cities of Colonial Heights and Petersburg have also been key players in getting the river project on track.

In Colonial Heights, city officials and others have launched the Colonial Heights Appomattox River Trail System. The system not only includes trails, but parks, boat and kayak/canoe launches, observatory points, restrooms, picnic areas and other facilities.

The ambitious project is being done in three phases and will come with a price tag of about $1.9 million, far above the original estimate of about $600,000. Construction of the trail has already begun. On National Trails Day in June, city employees and volunteers covered 450 feet of the future trail with a stone base. The two- miles of trail and facilities is expected to be finished by 2012.

In Petersburg, there are about 8 miles of walkable trails in the city from the dam to Squaw Alley and about another mile on Pocahontas Island. Petersburg has one of the longest portions of the trail.