PETERSBURG — Friends of the Lower Appomattox River recently received a one-year $100,000 challenge grant from The Mary Morton Parsons Foundation.
The grant will match dollar-for-dollar all new private donations and grants from supporters who contribute to building the Appomattox River Trail section through Patton Park and historic Petersburg.
“Whether it’s restoring the river shoreline, providing high quality environmental educational opportunities to thousands of young people, or bringing a world-class riverside trail to our region, everything that FOLAR does is made possible by our supporters,” said Ken Newman, chair of the group’s board of directors.
The grant from the Foundation will only be awarded if FOLAR can raise the matching amount within one year of the announcement this week.
“Once the challenge is met, funds will be invested in the construction of a central section of the trail that will improve the quality of life in the City of Petersburg and surrounding communities as well as serve as sustainable model for developing sensitive riverfront areas,” said Wendy Austin, the group’s executive director.
When completed, the 20-plus-mile system will connect communities across six riverside municipalities and Virginia State University through a cohesive trail system and corresponding signage that will improve river access, provide an environment that will serve to increase a culture of health for individuals and families, improve the economic vitality of the region, and conserve and protect the natural river environment.