Pocahontas State Park received a grant award of $15,000 from the Garden Club of Virginia for the Heritage Center Conversion to Discovery Center Project. This award is part of the association’s 2020 Centennial Project, which supports various projects in Virginia State Parks.
The park’s project to convert the Heritage Center to a Discovery Center began in March and will be completed in the late summer. With approximately 1.15 million visitors and over 6,000 school students visiting the park each year, a Discovery Center will provide the opportunity for visitors to be exposed to areas of the park in ways they would not have been otherwise.
“Our goal is to fund projects that our clubs and parks coordinate together and that fall within our mission and the state parks’ mission: conservation, beautification, horticulture, preservation and/or education,” said Jeanette Cadwallender, chairman of the association’s State Park Committee and president of the Rappahannock Valley Garden Club in Fredericksburg.
The concept plan for the conversion was developed by park staff and people from the community coming together at a visitor experience planning workshop – which helped to identify the importance and relevant themes of the park. These themes were then used to develop the concept and content of the Discovery Center.
“With the help of the Garden Club of Virginia and other partners, this Discovery Center will help us showcase the resources within the park. For many visitors, this center will be the first opportunity to learn about interacting with the natural environment. At the end of the day, we hope to have created new park friends and environmental stewards,” said Park Manager Joshua Ellington.
Other partners in the community also contributed to the Discovery Center project. Friends of Pocahontas State Park, Coqui Bike Shop, the Doliber family, the Brown family, Appomattox River Company, and Recreational Equipment Inc. see this as project as a way to educate the community of the importance of the unique natural and cultural experience the park brings to the Richmond metropolitan area.
Virginia State Parks are managed by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation. For more information about Virginia State Parks activities and amenities or to make a reservation for one of over 1,800 campsites or over 300 climate-controlled cabins, call the Virginia State Parks Customer Care Center at 800-933-7275.