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

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VEE grant helps FOLAR strengthen efforts to protect land along the Appomattox River

Appomattox River west of University Blvd. Photo by John Rooney.

PETERSBURG, VA – The Friends of the Lower Appomattox River (FOLAR) announces that through a grant partnership with the Virginia Environmental Endowment (VEE) it will begin to implement a regional land conservation program designed to secure additional funding and strengthen community stewardship while also increasing more equitable access to high quality green spaces for residents of the region. The $20,000 grant investment from VEE will help fund staff support to further enable community outreach and education, landowner meetings, partner coordination, and fund development.

Protection of and planned improvements to the land is critical to achieving the community vision of a 25-mile public access greenway and blueway and 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.

“FOLAR has been conserving and protecting the natural resources along the lower Appomattox River in the Tri Cities region for 20 years through strong local and regional partnerships and relationships, we are thrilled to expand those efforts through this new partnership with the Virginia Environmental Endowment,” said Wendy Austin, FOLAR Executive Director.
FOLAR is one of seventeen Virginia and one West Virginia organizations to receive a grant award from the Virginia Environmental Endowment as part of its most recent grant round totaling $3,857,213. When combined with previous awards and matching funds, VEE has stimulated or assisted with over $117 million in environmental improvements since its beginnings in 1977.

THE VIRGINIA ENVIRONMENTAL ENDOWMENT (VEE) is a non-profit, grant-making foundation based in Richmond, Virginia that is focused on improving the quality of the environment by using its capital, expertise and resources to encourage all sectors to work together to prevent pollution, conserve natural resources and promote environmental literacy. The Endowment celebrated its 40thAnniversary in 2017. Learn more about VEE by visiting

FRIENDS OF THE LOWER APPOMATTOX RIVER (FOLAR) is the only organization in the Tri-Cities and surrounding counties dedicated to conserving and protecting the natural, cultural, and recreational resources along the lower Appomattox River. FOLAR has served the region as a registered 501c3 nonprofit organization since 2001 working to develop river stewardship, improve parks, establish trails, increase access the river, and protect special places. FOLAR is a membership organization and depends on private donations to succeed. Additional information can be found at