VOF announces $1.38 million for 28 open-space projects across Virginia

The Virginia Outdoors Foundation (VOF) today announced $1,385,857 in grants for projects that increase access to public open space in 25 counties and cities.

The 28 grants were awarded from VOF’s Preservation Trust Fund and Get Outdoors grant programs. The Preservation Trust Fund program provides grants for acquisitions, easements, rights of way, and other methods of protecting open space for farming, forestry, recreation, wildlife, water quality, and more. The Get Outdoors program provides grants for projects that increase equitable access to safe open space in underserved communities.

To learn more about VOF’s grant programs, visit https://www.vof.org/protect/grants/.


Grant Recipient Summaries


Preservation Trust Fund


Grantee: Brunswick County

Locality: Brunswick County

Amount: $150,000

Project: Lake Gaston

Description: Construction of a future public day-use site located on Lake Gaston, a major tourist attraction with limited public access.


Grantee: Capital Region Land Conservancy

Locality: City of Colonial Heights

Amount: $150,000

Project: Historic Harvell Dam Area

Description: Acquisition of 0.88 acres in Colonial Heights that is critical to the development of the 25-mile-long Appomattox River Trail and will connect Colonial Heights to Virginia State University and the Fall Line Trail.


Grantee: Capital Region Land Conservancy

Locality: Chesterfield County

Amount: $150,000

Project: Campbell’s Bridge Mills

Description: Acquisition of 10 acres in Chesterfield that is critical to the development of the 25-mile-long Appomattox River Trail and will connect Virginia State University, the Fall Line Trail, and Randolph Farm campus.


Grantee: Downtown Greens Inc

Locality: City of Fredericksburg

Amount: $150,000

Project: Downtown Greens Land Expansion Project

Description: Acquisition of a 56-acre parcel of productive farmland that will provide additional accessible green space, an agricultural training center, and new nature-based learning opportunities for all ages.


Grantee: James City County Department of Parks and Recreation

Locality: James City County

Amount: $109,400

Project: Grove Community Park

Description: Acquisition of two adjacent properties to create a 7.75-acre Grove Community Park, serving a community that is historically underserved with recreational amenities and has the highest level of poverty-level households in James City County.


Grantee: Town of Bridgewater

Locality: Rockingham County

Amount: $55,000

Project: Riverwalk, Phase III

Description: Purchase of land and right-of-way for the construction of Phase III of the Town’s Riverwalk project, a shared-use path along the edge of the North River that will eventually span over two miles and create an east-west pedestrian and bicycle connector across the town.


Grantee: Town of Fincastle

Locality: Botetourt County

Amount: $57,000

Project: Big Spring Park; An Historical Revival

Description: Improvements to Big Spring Park, 4-acre linear park connecting the historic downtown to Breckenridge Elementary School. New features would consist of an outdoor classroom, historical interpretation, and a native fruit orchard and pollinator garden.


Grantee: Town of Glade Spring

Locality: Washington County

Amount: $100,000

Project: Glade Spring – Saltville Trail Extension

Description: Acquisition of a .65-mile section of Norfolk Southern rail line to connect the existing Salt Trail from Saltville to Glade, and then from Glade to Emory & Henry College.


Grantee: Town of Independence

Locality: Grayson County

Amount: $65,000

Project: North Independence Park

Description: Acquisition of 2.12 acres of vacant land to build one of the first public parks in the Town’s 115-year history.


Get Outdoors


Grantee: Africulture

Locality: Orange County

Amount: $24,400

Project: Taste of Africa

Description: A Taste of Africa (TOA) is a farm-based introduction and walk through African and Caribbean cultures and history. Many plants, principles, and practices, as well as people, were brought to America and the western hemisphere against their will. Despite their unfortunate and dire circumstances, they still maintained aspects of their food culture and traditions. Taste of Africa will expose and properly introduce residents of Virginia and the region to these cultural foodways.


Grantee: Bennett’s Village

Locality: City of Charlottesville

Amount: $25,000

Project: Bennett’s Village Treehouse at Pen Park

Description: Bennett’s Village is dedicated to making the world a more inclusive place for all to play. The first phase in creating a multi-generational, all-abilities playground at Pen Park is an accessible, multi-level treehouse. This grant will support completion of construction documents, which is the critical next step in the overall vision for Bennett’s Village.


Grantee: Boys & Girls Club of the Northern Neck

Locality: Lancaster County

Amount: $25,000

Project: BGCNN Outdoor Education and Public Recreation Space

Description: Boys & Girls Club of the Northern Neck is looking to provide green space for education, quiet time and play for youth. Funding will improve soil, turf and drainage in an activity field area; create a perimeter path trail with physical fitness activities; and create garden areas.


Grantee: Craig County Recreation and Conservation Association, Inc.

Locality: Craig County

Amount: $22,932.00

Project: Craig County Field of Dreams

Description: Funding for a septic system at the Craig Field of Dreams, a multi-purpose sports complex serving the community.


Grantee: Dan River Basin Association

Locality: Henry County

Amount: $25,000

Project: Historical Downtown Connection to Public Park

Description: Construction of steps, a sidewalk trail, and beautification at Fieldale Park, which is the center of historical focal points including the Old Iron Bridge Memorial and the famous Fieldcrest – Cannon textile factory.


Grantee: Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation

Locality: Fairfax County

Amount: $15,000

Project: Open Spaces, Open Doors, Open Minds

Description: The purpose of this project is to increase access for underserved communities to green and outdoor spaces, establish healthy habits in youths, and introduce potential career paths in natural resources and recreation to program participants. The program will serve residents from Northern Virginia, including Lorton and Fairfax, who will be provided a meal and transportation to and from a state park in the region, where they will learn about the natural and historic resources present.


Grantee: East Coast Greenway Alliance

Locality: City of Chesapeake

Amount: $20,000

Project: Advancing the ECG by Connecting Great Dismal Swamp Trail

Description: An 8.3-mile section of the Dismal Swamp Canal Trail is completed in Chesapeake and another 3 miles exists further south in North Carolina. Both sections of the 3,000-mile East Coast Greenway are adjacent to Great Dismal Swamp federal or state park lands. Between the completed sections is a 5-mile roadway gap along Route 17. Funding will jumpstart the planning for closing the 1.5-mile gap section.


Grantee: Enrichmond Foundation, TreeLab program

Locality: City of Richmond

Amount: $11,625

Project: Trees for Community Health at Battery Park

Description: The Enrichmond Foundation’s TreeLab program, in coordination with Battery Park Civic Association and the City of Richmond’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities, will plant and maintain 63 trees and four shrubs in Battery Park in spring 2022. Battery Park is a public park in Northern Barton Heights, which has a history of systemic discrimination. The trees will increase shade around popular sports and playground facilities and mitigate stormwater runoff that causes frequent flooding.


Grantee: Essex County Museum & Historical Society

Locality: Essex County

Amount: $25,000

Project: Essex Museum Outdoor Courtyard Project

Description: The Essex Museum Max Silver Memorial Courtyard will offer the community and visitors to the area a park-like setting in the heart of the Tappahannock Historic District and provide much needed green space, as well as an outdoor classroom for living history programs.


Grantee: Friends of the Lower Appomattox River

Locality: Chesterfield County

Amount: $7,500

Project: Effective Use of Volunteer Resources for Invasive Plant Removal

Description: An initiative to develop and implement a strategic, sustainable invasive species management program that will help to save trees and native plant communities in the area and restore habitat that will improve water quality.


Grantee: Little Cities Foundation

Locality: Amherst County

Amount: $25,000

Project: Madison Heights Dog Park

Description: Seminole Park is located behind the former Seminole School in Madison Heights. Both properties have sat vacant and underutilized for nearly 30 years, succumbing to vandalism and negligence. This grant will help to transform the vacant land into a dual-use park with one half becoming a public park and the other half a dog park. The entire park will be encircled with a walking path.


Grantee: Manchester Middle School

Locality: Chesterfield County

Amount: $8,000

Project: Lion’s Community Cove

Description: Project Lion’s Community Cove will be built to give students and the local community a place to learn, explore and relax in an outdoor space.


Grantee: Pulaski County High School

Locality: Pulaski County

Amount: $25,000

Project: Sensory Trail

Description: The Sensory Trail at Pulaski County High School is being designed as an outdoor instructional space to serve as a resource to all students Pre-K through 12.


Grantee: Renew Richmond

Locality: Henrico County

Amount: $25,000

Project: Farmstrong Community Farm

Description: Farmstrong Community Farm is a project that engages youth and community members in hands-on, skills-based immersion in agriculture, STEM, and environmental sustainability that will promote food access, career opportunities, and educational advancement.


Grantee: Richard Bland College

Locality: Dinwiddie County

Amount: $15,000

Project: Richard Bland College Go Outdoors

Description: The grant will be used over a 4-year period to fund various outdoor learning opportunities and activities to reach as many students as possible. RBC services an underrepresented community with many low-income students, first-generation students, female students, and students of color.


Grantee: SCAN – Scottsville’s Center for the Arts and the Natural Environment

Locality: Albemarle County

Amount: $25,000

Project: SCAN Land

Description: Established in 2004, Scottsville’s Center for the Arts and the Natural Environment (SCAN) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to create a space for the exploration of the natural environment through the arts. SCAN Land is a multi-phased project, and intends to transform SCAN’s 13-acre property into a public landscape for the community to access, enjoy, and learn about the convergence of nature, humans, and art.


Grantee: SCION

Locality: Essex County

Amount: $25,000

Project: Select Outdoor Storehouse (SOS)

Description: Select Outdoor Storehouse (SOS) is a family farm with a vision to produce healthy food items and flowers in Essex County. This farm will be a source of nutritious foods (vegetables, fruit) and flowers for underserved communities of King George, Caroline, Essex, and Westmoreland, and Richmond County.


Grantee: Town of Montross

Locality: Westmoreland County

Amount: $25,000

Project: Montross Downtown Park

Description: This project proposes creating a centrally located park in the Courthouse Business District of Montross. Project activities will include removing impervious pavement, installing a small area of playground equipment, and planting the remainder in grassed open space suitable for recreational use by town and county residents.


Grantee: Woodville Rosenwald School Foundation

Locality: Gloucester County

Amount: $25,000

Project: Woodville School Greenspace Project

Description: The project is to purchase 0.39 acres on U.S. Highway 17 adjacent to the historic African American Woodville School for use as an outdoor exhibit area demonstrating and documenting the skills taught at Rosenwald schools and the importance of school design and outdoor space as part of the Rosenwald school experience.

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