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

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FOLAR Welcomes Transformative $500,000 Challenge

Generous grant from The Cabell Foundation supports a new section of the Appomattox River Trail by encouraging others to donate.

The Friends of the Lower Appomattox River (FOLAR) recently received the largest grant in the history of the FOLAR organization, a two-year $500,000 challenge grant from The Cabell Foundation in Richmond.

Historic Appomattox River Canal Trail at Appomattox Riverside-Ferndale Park in Dinwiddie County

The grant will match dollar-for-dollar all new private donations and pledges from supporters who contribute to FOLAR toward improving the Appomattox River Trail (ART) in the historic Appomattox Riverside-Ferndale Park area in Dinwiddie County, doubling the impact of their contributions. The vision of this section is to reinvent a major historic regional outdoor destination and create an inclusive and welcoming entrance to the regional 25-mile Appomattox River Trail Greenway-Blueway, including a pedestrian-bicycle bridge across the river that will connect the south bank to the Radcliffe Conservation Area on the north bank in Chesterfield, creating water access to a spectacular state designated scenic river.

“The Cabell Foundation grant aligns with FOLAR’s ambitious commitment to ensure accessibility for all to the river and its natural surroundings to help connect people to the outdoors for better health and wellness, increase the commitment to conservation and stewardship, and strengthen the region’s economy,“ said Hayes. “The generosity of our larger community of supporters around our small staff makes what we do possible. We are honored by The Cabell Foundation’s belief in our work and commitment to our communities in a way that encourages others to deepen their support.”

The grant from The Cabell Foundation will only be awarded if FOLAR can raise the matching amount. The public is invited to participate and double their gift to the improvement project:

Appomattox Riverside-Ferndale Park, Dinwiddie County

Appomattox River Master Plan, page 30. Bridge concept illustration.



Or, if you prefer, mail your donation check to:

FOLAR, 1964 Wakefield Street, Petersburg, VA 23805.

Please write Cabell Challenge in the memo area.

For additional information or questions, please contact Wendy Austin at


“Once the challenge is met, funds will be invested in the feasibility, design, and construction of improvements to the park and trail section that will showcase the park’s unparalleled natural beauty and historic value and the area’s timeless importance to the greater region. It will also serve as a sustainable model for developing sensitive riverfront areas,” said Austin.

Improvements to this area will help protect the Appomattox River’s water quality and natural habitats by maintaining the natural buffers along the shoreline. 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.

When completed, the developing 25+ mile long Appomattox River Trail system will span six jurisdictions, linking neighborhoods, vibrant areas of commerce, and tranquil forested riparian greenspace, transforming recreation and transportation, catalyzing economic growth for the community and state as well as conserve and protect the natural river environment.


ABOUT THE CABELL FOUNDATION: Founded in 1957 by Mr. Robert G. Cabell, III, and Mrs. Maude Morgan Cabell, the Cabell Foundation was established as a private, non-operating foundation to support the permanent needs of charitable organizations throughout Virginia, with particular emphasis on agencies in the metro Richmond region. Since its inception, the Cabell Foundation has provided permanent gifts and challenge grants to a diverse mix of nonprofit institutions. Mr. and Mrs. Cabell believed the Foundation should be responsive to human need in its deliberations and in taking initiative that would inspire the community to action.  More information available at