The Friends of the Lower Appomattox River had a year-long campaign to receive a $100,000 matching grant from The Mary Morton Parsons Foundation of...

The Friends of the Lower Appomattox River had a year-long campaign to receive a $100,000 matching grant from The Mary Morton Parsons Foundation of Richmond reach its goal last month, thanks to the generosity of the many supporters who donated a total of $105,000 to the effort.

The funds are targeted at improving the Appomattox River Trail through Petersburg Patton Park and the Historic Petersburg area, which is a central section of FOLAR’s ongoing 20-plus mile long, multi-million-dollar Appomattox River Trail improvement campaign.

The success of the fundraising effort means that FOLAR receives the matching funds.

“We are so grateful to The Mary Morton Parsons Foundation for the opportunity the challenge grant provided. It has been wonderful to see so many people in our community come together around this project and around the Appomattox River Trail,” executive director Wendy Austin said. “It really shows how many hearts and minds this grand vision of the trail as a path to learning, conservation, wellness, and prosperity has touched.”

In addition to the many individuals who donated, several key organizations that contributed to this effort included The Cameron Foundation, The American Water Charitable Foundation, the Virginia Outdoor Foundation, The Petersburg Foundation and John Randolph Medical Center, as well as local businesses including Vulcan Materials and Rosalyn Farms Corporation. The total impact of the challenge grant effort is well over $200,000, representing a substantial boost to FOLAR’s Appomattox River Trail campaign.

“Although this is just one piece of the puzzle, it’s a very important piece,” Austin said. “Besides the $200,000 impact of this effort itself, the fact that our many supporters helped us meet the challenge will also help us with the rest of our fundraising, because we can really show just how much the Appomattox River Trail means to the community.”

FOLAR’s Appomattox River Trail campaign is aimed at improving trail infrastructure and signage as means of conserving riverfront land and improving water quality to provide walkers and cyclists safe, enjoyable connections to recreational opportunities, greenspace and nature, as well as connections to historic sites and structures, businesses, jobs, schools and transit.

Additional information can be found at folar-va.org or by emailing waustin@folar-va.org or calling (804) 543-0325.