Communities Working in Partnership to Conserve and Protect the Lower Appomattox River

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FOLAR meets goal for $100,000 challenge grant

PETERSBURG, VA – The Friends of the Lower Appomattox River year-long campaign to receive a $100,000 matching grant from The Mary Morton Parsons Foundation of Richmond, Virginia reached its goal last month, thanks to the generosity of the many supporters who donated a total of $105,000 to the effort.

Proposed improvements to the Petersburg section of the Appomattox River Trail (ART) will be similar to the section in Colonial Heights pictured above. Photo by John A. Rooney, Jr.

The funds are targeted at improving the Appomattox River Trail through Petersburg Patton Park and the Historic Petersburg area, which is a central section of FOLAR’s ongoing 20+ mile long, multi-million-dollar Appomattox River Trail improvement campaign.

The success of the fundraising effort means that FOLAR receives $100,000 in matching funds from The Mary Morton Parsons Foundation. “We are so grateful to The Mary Morton Parsons Foundation for the opportunity the challenge grant provided. It has been wonderful to see so many people in our community come together around this project and around the Appomattox River Trail,” said Executive Director, Wendy Austin. “It really shows how many hearts and minds this grand vision of the trail as a path to learning, conservation, wellness, and prosperity has touched.”

In addition to the many individuals who donated, there were several key organizations that contributed to this effort including The Cameron Foundation, The American Water Charitable Foundation, the Virginia Outdoor Foundation, The Petersburg Foundation, John Randolph Medical Center as well as local businesses including Vulcan Materials and Rosalyn Farms Corporation.

The total impact of the challenge grant effort is well over $200,000, representing a substantial boost to FOLAR’s Appomattox River Trail campaign. “Although this is just one piece of the puzzle, it’s a very important piece,” Austin said. “Besides the $200,000 impact of this effort itself, the fact that our many supporters helped us meet the challenge will also help us with the rest of our fundraising, because we can really show just how much the Appomattox River Trail means to the community.”

FOLAR is working to build the Appomattox River Trail for our community as a path to conservation, learning, wellness, and prosperity. If you believe in this work and you know and love the Appomattox River, you know how great the need is and how important the work is to protect and restore our river’s shoreline.

And we need your help to cover the expenses of managing and maintaining these conservation efforts. Can you contribute $50, $100, $500 to make the vision of a pristine river for all to enjoy a reality? Please join and contribute to FOLAR’s work at