The Friends of the Lower Appomattox River (FOLAR) today announces that in partnership with the Virginia Outdoors Foundation it has purchased nearly 5 wooded riverfront acres along the state designated scenic Appomattox River in Petersburg and established a public conservation area. The property will be conveyed to the City of Petersburg when improvements are achieved.
“This achievement reflects our continuing effort to work with our communities and partners on protecting the Appomattox River for recreation and conservation,” said Mike Golden, FOLAR Chairman. Protection of and planned improvements to this property will also help protect the Appomattox River’s water quality and natural habitats by maintaining the natural buffers along the shoreline. Land protection here and all along the Appomattox River is vitally important since the river is a source of drinking water for the surrounding communities and the river corridor falls within the Chesapeake Bay watershed as well as a priority area of the Governor of Virginia’s Conserve Virginia strategy which identifies land having the highest conservation value for the state.
“We are thrilled to be a partner in this visionary project, which will provide thousands of citizens with new opportunities to connect to the Appomattox River and nature,” said Virginia Outdoors Foundation Executive Director Brett Glymph. “It represents the kind of community-driven conservation that VOF is proud to support.”
Within the corridor, FOLAR is also working to improve public access by developing the Appomattox River Trail, that when completed will be over 25 miles in length connecting a rich diversity of historical, cultural and physiographic areas stretching from Lake Chesdin in the Piedmont region to the confluence with the James River in the Coastal Plain region at historic City Point National Park, in the City of Hopewell. “The riverside route offers both a trail that is scenic, safe, and accessible as well as creating water access to a spectacularly scenic river,” said Heather Barrar, FOLAR Regional Trails Program Director.
Completing the Appomattox River Trail will leverage the growth of the outdoor recreation industry and its beneficial impact on health and wellness in the metro-Richmond region through a vision to create connection to hundreds of miles of regional trail including the Virginia Capital Trail, James River Park system, the East Coast Greenway, and the proposed Ashland-to-Petersburg trail. The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation Outdoors Plan (VOP) identifies the Appomattox River Trail as a Regional Featured Project.