Governor Glenn Youngkin recognized the winners of the 2022 Governor’s Environmental Excellence Awards at the recent Environment Virginia Symposium. The Appomattox River Trail – University Boulevard Overlook & Trailhead was recognized as a silver medal winner, the program’s second highest honor, along with two other projects from across the state. Reginald Tabor, Director of Planning and Community Development, (pictured above) accepted the award on behalf of the City of Petersburg. From left, Acting Secretary of Natural and Historic Resources Travis Voyles, Reginald Tabor, Department of Environmental Quality Director Mike Rolband, and Department of Conservation and Recreation Director Matthew Wells.
The trailhead and overlook project was completed in the Fall of 2021 and is the first section of the developing 25-mile Appomattox River Trail to be fully completed in Petersburg. The University Blvd trail section is just over one-third mile, out to the Battersea Bridges.
The overlook provides incredible access to the falls, preserves an historic stone foundation near Campbell’s Bridge, and beautifies the trailhead entrance. The project also included upgraded trail surface and new signage, invasive plant removal, and the addition of new native plant gardens to help protect the Appomattox River’s water quality and natural habits by improving the natural buffers along the shoreline.
This project was made possible in partnership with FOLAR (Friends of the Lower Appomattox River) with support from local foundations, corporations and industries, and FOLAR members and individuals throughout the community.
This is the third Governor’s Environmental Excellence Award awarded for projects along the Appomattox River Trail. The Hopewell Riverwalk was recognized with a gold medal in 2020, and the VSU Overlook at Simms Hall was recognized with a bronze medal in 2019. More information about 2022 award recipients can be found on the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality website.