The Virginia Outdoors Foundation (VOF) today announced awards of $1,946,044 in grants for 33 local projects in 25 localities that create, expand and make more accessible public open space, including one project in Nelson County. The grants were awarded from VOF’s Preservation Trust Fund and its new Get Outdoors program. The latest round of awards emphasizes projects that serve high-need communities, especially communities that have been inadequately served, overlooked, or harmed by unfair zoning, housing, and land-use practices or other systemic discrimination.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed a great deal about the importance of open space for not only our physical and mental health, but also for the strength of our communities,” said VOF Executive Director Brett Glymph. “We are pleased to be able to award these grants that will advance projects in communities all across the Commonwealth, resulting in greater, safer, and more equitable access to the outdoors for thousands of Virginians.”
Nelson County Parks and Recreation submitted an application for an easement acquisition to install and maintain a public boat take out and parking lot on a section of the Rockfish River. This will be the first public river access for the Rockfish River, but is also part of a larger blueway program that is planned for the Nelson County Wayside along Route 29 at Woods Mill. The department received a full award for the application of $60,000.
Claire Richardson, director of Nelson County Parks and Recreation notes, “We are thrilled to receive this funding and thankful to the Virginia Outdoors Foundation for sharing our vision and recognizing this need. Nelson County’s incredible amount of outdoor recreational assets benefit both local residents and tourists. Nelson County. Parks and Recreation staff are working to thoughtfully expand outdoor recreation opportunities and this is a positive step. We appreciate the private landowner’s support of the project and also the Virginia Department of Transportation’s assistance to date.”
Created in 1966 by the state legislature, the Virginia Outdoors Foundation has protected more than 850,000 acres of farms, forests, parks, and other open spaces in 111 cities and counties. For a complete list of grant recipients: https://www.vof.org/2021/02/09/vof-announces-1-9-million-in-grants-for-public-open-space-projects/ Learn more at https://vof.org.