VOF allocates $750,000 for public open-space projects in 8 counties

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A VOF grant will add land to the Corum homestead area at Bull Run Mountains Natural Area Preserve.

The Virginia Outdoors Foundation has allocated $750,000 from its Open-Space Lands Preservation Trust Fund (PTF) for nine conservation projects that will increase public access to open space for communities in Albemarle, Fauquier, Halifax, Middlesex, Orange, Prince William, Pulaski, and Rockbridge counties.

The projects were approved by the VOF Board of Trustees at its June 25th meeting. Additional project details can be found here.

 

Project Summaries

 

Project name: Ragged Mountain Connector

Locality: Albemarle County

Grant amount: $65,000

Description: The City of Charlottesville is seeking to acquire land that would complete a connection and trail access improvement  between the city, the 142-acre Heyward Community Forest, and  the 975-acre Ragged Mountain Natural Area. The project is also supported by a Community Forest Grant from the U.S. Forest Service. Ragged Mountain Natural Area is a drinking-water and recreational resource for the city.

 

Project name: Bull Run Mountains, Corum Tract

Locality: Prince William & Fauquier counties

Grant amount: $100,000

Description: Bounded by the Bull Run Mountains Natural Area Preserve on the south and the west, the Corum tract is a long-standing priority acquisition parcel for the Virginia Outdoors Foundation. The tract includes an historic African American homestead that is closely related to other cultural resources within the preserve boundaries.

 

Project name: Banister River Canoe Launch

Locality: Halifax County

Grant amount: $50,000

Description: The Town of Halifax wishes to purchase 16 acres in Meadeville for a potential canoe/kayak launch on the Banister River as part of the Southern Virginia Wild Blueway effort—a joint tourism marketing initiative of Halifax and Mecklenburg counties promoting the region’s waterways.

 

Project name: Urbanna Oyster Festival Site

Locality: Middlesex County

Grant amount: $140,000

Description: The Urbanna Oyster Festival has been held in the Town of Urbanna annually for 63 years and is the largest-income generating event for many nonprofits in the Middle Peninsula region. A large portion of the festival has been held on private land thanks to an agreement with the family who owns it. The land’s future availability is now in question. The grant would allow the Town of Urbanna and the Urbanna Oyster Festival Foundation to acquire the parcel to secure its use for future festivals and make the space available to the public year-round.

 

Project name: Gordonsville Park Connector

Locality: Orange County

Grant amount: $100,000

Description: A partner project with the Piedmont Environmental Council with significant matching funds, this project would fund the purchase of two parcels to be donated to the Town of Gordonsville, connecting Verling Park and the Fireman’s Fairgrounds. The connection of the two public open spaces is part of a larger plan to improve the existing parks.

 

Project name: Calfee Training School

Locality: Pulaski County

Grant amount: $80,000

Calfee Training School in Pulaski, built for African American students in the late 1800s.

Description: Established in the Town of Pulaski in the late 1800s to educate African American children, the Calfee Training School is the centerpiece of a potential future African American historic district. The grant will be used to plan and conduct renovation of the historic school into a community and cultural center. It will also address the need for a daycare facility and programs in the area.

 

Project name: T.G. Howard Community Center

Locality: Pulaski County

Grant amount: $80,000

Description: The T.G. Howard Community Center in the Town of Pulaski is the only African American community center of its kind in the New River Valley. Built in 1965, the center was the focal point for African American recreation, political events, education, and job training for more than 30 years. The grant will be used to restore the community center and surrounding land. Once restored, the site will be utilized to support school programs, health awareness, veteran awareness, cultural awareness, and recreational activities.

 

Project name: House Mountain Addition

Locality: Rockbridge County

Grant amount: $85,000

Description: The funds will be used by the Virginia Outdoors Foundation to acquire land adjacent to House Mountain Reserve near Lexington. This property is located just below Little House Mountain’s ridgeline trail and fills a gap between the reserve and an existing VOF easement. The land will become part of the reserve and protect the trail’s viewshed.

 

Project name: Pultz Property

Locality: Rockbridge County

Grant amount: $50,000

The Clark Family Cemetery on the Pultz property in Rockbridge.

Description: The grant supports an open-space easement on private land that is adjacent to George Washington National Forest and provides access from the Blue Ridge Parkway to an active historic cemetery with 300-plus marked graves, many of which are from Monacan tribe families.

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