The Virginia Outdoors Foundation (VOF) today announced $2,154,840 in grants for projects that protect open space for public benefit in 17 counties and cities.
The 20 grants were awarded from VOF’s Preservation Trust Fund and Get Outdoors Fund 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 Fund provides grants for projects that increase safe access to open space in communities.
To learn more about VOF’s grant programs, visit https://www.vof.org/protect/grants/.
Grant Recipient Summaries
Preservation Trust Fund
Grantee: Chickahominy Indian Tribe
Project Title: Chickahominy Indian Tribe – Land Repatriation
Locality: New Kent County
Description: To purchase a 200-acre parcel at South Courthouse Road in New Kent County, so the tribe can repatriate a portion of its ancestral land for hunting, fishing, and nature-based education and recreation purposes. This project would restore a small part of the land that the tribe once managed and held in relationship. The New Kent County future land-use map designates the area for conservation.
Grantee: City of Newport News
Project Title: Stoney Run Park Nature Trails
Locality: Newport News, City of
Description: To facilitate the development of approximately 2 miles of nature trails through city-owned property adjacent to an existing community park. The new trail will take users through wooded wetlands teaming with biodiversity. Interpretive signs throughout the path will educate users on the natural features, plant and animal species found along the trail.
Grantee: Frederick County Parks and Recreation
Project Title: Abrams Creek Trail Trailhead and Parking
Locality: Frederick County
Description: To provide a trailhead and parking for the Abrams Creek Trail. The trailhead will include an asphalt entrance and parking to provide public access for the Abrams Creek Trail.
Grantee: Giles County
Project Title: Site Purchase to Build McCoy Boat Landing
Locality: Giles County
Description: To purchasing land to construct the McCoy Falls Boat Landing on the New River, a few hundred yards upstream from McCoy Falls. Goodwin’s Ferry Road provides access to the land. Construction of the McCoy Falls Boat Ramp in Giles County is a critical and essential component in a much larger, region-wide initiative entitled The New River Water Trail (NRWT) Expansion Project.
Grantee: Patawomeck Indian Tribe of Virginia
Project Title: Patawomeck Tribe Riverland
Locality: Stafford County
Description: To acquire a 14.24-acre parcel of land located on the Rappahannock River. The Patawomeck Tribe was formally recognized by the Commonwealth of Virginia in 2010 and is one of 11 state recognized tribes. The Patawomeck Community is centered in southern Stafford County and operates a museum and cultural center just across the Rappahannock River from Fredericksburg at Little Falls. The project property is located adjacent to the Tribal Center.
Grantee: Taylor and Robert Scott
Project Title: Angola Farm
Locality: Cumberland County
Description: To acquire an easement on a 274-acre beef and timber farm in Cumberland County. Recent closure of poultry processing plant ended poultry production and created financial hardship. The property has long frontage on Angola Creek, a tributary stream, wetlands, and a large lake. The farm has been in the family for about 130 years and is farmed by a father and son.
Grantee: Town of Boones Mill
Project Title: Maurice Turner Recreation Area
Locality: Franklin County
Description: To develop the Maurice Turner Recreation Area on town-owned property adjacent to a one-acre pond. A small picnic shelter, tables, an ADA-compliant walking trail, benches, interpretive signage, and a small bike rack will be included.
Grantee: Town of Clifton Forge
Project Title: Hazel Run Conservation Area
Locality: Alleghany County
Description: To create a conservation area surrounding the Hazel Run Trail in the Town of Clifton Forge. By protecting adjacent land parcels through a deed of dedication to open space, the scenic qualities and natural resources surrounding Hazel Run will be protected in perpetuity.
Grantee: Town of Mount Crawford
Project Title: Mount Crawford Town Park Creation
Locality: Rockingham County
Description: To create the town’s first public park and space, which includes a sensory trail, sensory playground, picnic shelter, bathroom, parking, native tree walk, and direct access to the North River. The project will conserve native forest; promote walking, fishing, and boating; tie in to a recently completed boat launch; provide a public gathering space for residents, families, and town events; and build a sense of place.
Grantee: William Lee Andrews
Project Title: Andrews Home Farm
Locality: Essex County
Description: To permanently protect a farm that has been owned and operated by the same family for more than 100 years. The owner-operator farms hundreds of acres in the local community and participates in local soil and water conservation efforts. He is a widely respected member of the local agricultural community. The property is located in an area of very high value agricultural land in the Rappahannock River and Chesapeake Bay watershed, which contributes to the local farm economy.
Grantee: Alleghany Highlands YMCA
Project Title: The Alleghany Highlands YMCA All Access Trail
Locality: Alleghany County
Description: The All Access Trail is designed to be entered via graduated surfaces and has sensory-building activities throughout the quarter-mile length. Such activities will include a wheelchair swing, a sensory garden with plants and flowers, plantings of native trees such as dogwoods and redbuds to provide both color and shade, a kids’ zone using natural building components to encourage exploration and experimentation, and a music station to encourage participants to create their own music.
Grantee: Bluebird Gap Farm
Project Title: ATTA Farm Project (Accessible Trails To All)
Locality: Hampton, City of
Description: The goal of the project is to purchase two all-terrain wheelchairs that can be rented out to the public for no cost. These tools would be essential in ensuring visitors’ access to all areas of the park, including forest trails, natural beach, grassy areas, and gravel paths. Not only would this provide equitable access to the outdoors for wheelchair users, but it is the accessibility solution with the smallest environmental impact as it would require little to no changes to the land itself.
Grantee: Chickahominy Indian Tribe- Eastern Division
Project Title: CIT-ED Nature Trail
Locality: New Kent County
Description: The nature trail on Eastern Division Chickahominy Tribal land has been used for years by tribal citizens and the public community. Due to time, weather, lack of resources, and increasingly less foot traffic, the trail has become inaccessible for regular use. The restoration of the nature trail would allow the community to safely access the outdoors. It would also allow opportunities for community engagement and education regarding traditional knowledge and stewardship of our Earth.
Grantee: Come to the Altar Ministry, Inc.
Project Title: CTTAM Community Grows Garden
Locality: Campbell County
Description: The Community Grows Garden was developed to provide a sustainable source of food for the community via Come to the Altar Ministry, and as an educational center for area youth to get them outdoors and learning about gardening, farming, nature, nutrition, and more. There are also components for seniors and veterans to be involved, as well as various community groups who desire to volunteer.
Grantee: Community Gear Library
Project Title: Community Gear Library Lending Program
Locality: Harrisonburg, City of
Description: The Community Gear Library is a resource in the Shenandoah Valley to increase access to the outdoors for all members of a diverse community. Participants will be able to borrow hiking and camping gear at no cost and can pick from individual items or choose to borrow Family Camping Kits that will provide them with all the gear needed for a camping trip. Participants will attend an information session to learn about local trails, camping areas, and how to use gear.
Grantee: Flat Ridge Community Center
Project Title: Flat Ridge Community Center Hoops and Loop
Locality: Grayson County
Description: The HOOPS project will benefit the growing population of children that have no outside recreation area by replacing basketball hoops and updating swings to an existing play area. The LOOP project will benefit residents of all ages through the creation of a walking track. The LOOP would encourage a space for physical exercise in a safe environment for aging residents.
Grantee: Front Royal Environmental Sustainability Advisory Committee (ESAC)
Project Title: Outdoor Fitness Station – Burrell Brooks Park, Front Royal
Locality: Warren County
Description: Front Royal’s Environmental Sustainability Advisory Committee is partnering with Warren County Parks & Recreation to create a first-of-its kind outdoor fitness station at one of the most highly used public spaces in Front Royal, Burrell Brooks Park. The fitness station will create a unique recreational opportunity for entire families, both adults and youth, to improve physical fitness in a fun and engaging way outdoors.
Grantee: Henry County
Project Title: MHC YMCA Bike Barn Inventory Replacement
Locality: Martinsville, City of
Description: The Bike Barn is a great asset to the community and is operated by the Martinsville-Henry County YMCA. The program allows people to borrow bikes and helmets at no cost and ride on the Dick and Willie Trail. This program is grant and donation funded for the operational costs. There are no funds for inventory replacement. The applicants are hoping to relocate the old bike barn to a more community-friendly space and feel this will attract more families.
Grantee: The Humble Hustle Co
Project Title: Humble Hikes Getaways
Locality: Roanoke, City of
Description: Humble Hikes would like to create regional overnight camping opportunities that take students outside of the Roanoke Valley to explore the outdoors. This project will expand Humble Hikes events to include overnight camping experiences in regional parks. The project provides participants with all the required gear for camping including transportation, tents, sleeping bags, food, and equipment needed for outdoor activities such as canoeing, fishing and hiking.
Grantee: The Mariners’ Museum and Park
Project Title: Expanding Nature-Based Enrichment for Students
Locality: Newport News, City of
Description: Mariners’ has become a well-known resource for immersive environmental education on the Peninsula. To successfully scale nature-based programming and serve 2,800 students with free programs during the 2023-24 school year, support is needed to make critical improvements. Funds will be used to create a new, accessible program site by replacing damaged and unstable pavers with level decking, and installing ADA-compliant tables and a ramp leading to the adjacent boat dock serving students of all abilities.