DEQ Official Visits VLP

An official with the  NC Department of Environmental Quality Water Resources  visited Valdese Lakeside Park and McGalliard Falls Park today help us understand what is needed for a winning grant score.  The $200K grant being applied for by Erin Schotte (WPCOG) on behalf of the town, will require matching funds of $200K and will be used for a greenway along the lake and creek. The official met at Town Hall with Town Manager Seth Eckard, Parks and Recreation Director Doug Knight, WPCOG Community & Economic Development Administrator Erin Schotte and FVR President Beth Heile before heading to the parks. New ideas from the day were a permeable parking area, rain gardens and making trail connections to other regions.

Funding VLP Amenities

Phase 1 of Valdese Lakeside Park will be built leveraging private donations to win grants applied for by the town.

Goal: $200K donations from community
Deadline: December 31, 2018
Amount after donations and grants:
$800K ($400K greenway + $400K amenities) to start building the park in early 2020 (if grants awarded) Continue reading

State Conservation Award for FVR President

Wildlife Volunteer of the Year Award was presented on Saturday, September 8 at the 55th Annual Governor’s Conservation Achievement Awards Banquet. The following statement was read to introduce Beth Heile –

Valdese, North Carolina is a small town of 5,000 folks, about eight miles east of Morganton, out where the Blue Ridge Mountains draw a green curtain across the sky. It’s a gorgeous location, but Valdese has seen more than its fair share of municipal challenges as furniture and manufacturing jobs have moved out. Then, in 2015, a 302-acre parcel on Lake Rhodhiss, just north of town, with 2 miles of waterfront access, was sold to a Colorado Company. To purchase the property for conservation purposes would require $365,000 of private contributions and matching funds to secure Clean Water and Parks & Recreation trust fund grants to save the property for use as a public park. That’s a lot of money for a small town. But among those 5,000 residents was Beth Heile. And Beth Heile sprang into action. Continue reading

New Supervisors in Recreation Dept

The summer has brought 2 new energetic employees to the Valdese Parks and Recreation Department. They each have exciting ideas for the department and will report to Director Doug Knight. They are looking at some programs that Friends of the Valdese Rec will be able to help with in terms of volunteering, assisting in planning and maybe some funding. This could be bike rides, fitness programs, informational programs, meetups, equipment for the pool.

Dave Andersen- New Aquatic & Fitness Supervisor
David may be new to his position, but he is not a new face around the pool. He started coaching the Valdese Torpedo Swim Team in 2010. And, as a teacher at EBHS, he coached the school’s swim team. He will be in charge of the pool and fitness room facilities; as well as, the staff and instructors. Dave plans “to continue to improve on what is a great place already.” He will do this with new programs: Mommy and Me swim lessons, HS Swim Prep; looking at shade for the pool deck, more general fitness opportunities, outdoor activities (bike, kayak), maybe inner tube water polo! Continue reading

FVR Maintains VLP

Once the Town of Valdese took ownership of the 300 acres on Lake Rhodhiss, Friends of the Valdese Rec has been caring for the property. First was the Cove Cleanup, then marking trails with colored ribbon and now trail maintenance. Members are cutting grass at the parking entrance, some of the larger grassy areas and parts of the trails; as well as clearing down branches. Get out and and enjoy their efforts!

This is the FVR Lawn Mower – the Green Machine! Only 20 inches wide – but very powerful. It gets the job done….. after many passes!