FOLAR celebrated a grand opening and ribbon cutting for the completion of the University Boulevard section of the Appomattox River Trail and a NEW river overlook along the Appomattox River on the west side of University Boulevard in Petersburg. This is the first section of the Appomattox River Trail to be fully completed in Petersburg.
Accomplished in partnership with the City of Petersburg, the project preserves a historic stone foundation near Campbell’s Bridge and beautifies the trailhead entrance, thanks to the construction contractor, John K. George & Co. The project includes upgraded trail surface and new signage, which together improves accessibility, comfort, safety, and maintenance capability. Other project elements included invasive plant removal and the addition of new native plant gardens to help protect the Appomattox River’s water quality and natural habits. The University Blvd Trail section is just over one-third mile, out to the Battersea Bridges.
“This grand opening celebration hopes to introduce a new way to explore Downtown Petersburg from the Appomattox River Trail system. We hope community members will see this as a reason to spend more time in our historic downtown and a chance to connect with their fellow community members. The University Blvd section is a centerpiece of the larger 25-mile-long Appomattox River Trail bicycle-pedestrian system that aims to further connect the region to all of the wonderful amenities Petersburg has to offer,” says Sam Parham, Petersburg Mayor.
“When we build high-quality facilities and offer a lot more people the resources, skills, and confidence they need to get around safely and conveniently by walking and biking, then people discover the ease and joy of active living, and our community becomes healthier, happier, and more prosperous,” says Wendy Austin, FOLAR Executive Director.
The University Blvd section was made possible by FOLAR through the generous support of The Mary Morton Parson Foundation, The Cameron Foundation, Virginia American Water, Vulcan Materials, and many FOLAR members and contributors throughout the community. The new signage was funded through a grant to FOLAR from Virginia Tech University and the Petersburg Health Options program. Plantings were funded through a grant from the Tri-Cities Environmental Endowment at the John Randolph Foundation. We are thankful for our many community partners, donors, and members who support the work of FOLAR to complete the 25-mile long bicycle-pedestrian Appomattox River Trail for our region!