Group Walk on the Greenway (April)

April 7 was our third Group Walk. It was cloudy and the threat of rain may have deterred some. However, the 26 who made it enjoyed the greenway trail and some regulars returned on the red trail. The greenway is 1.3 miles long – with the goal being to connect to McGalliard Falls Park making it a 2 mile greenway. The next walk will be Sunday, May 5 at 2pm.  Park Plans ~ Donate Today

First Saturday Workday

This year, Friends of the Valdese Rec is holding monthly workdays at Valdese Lakeside Park. Our first one, on April 6, brought out 9 volunteers for 2 hours of service. They cut grass, did weed eating, gathered 12 bags of trash, pulled out 3 tires from lake.

There are plenty of choices for what you would like to do…..
1) Clear trails of branches and briars – may need clippers
2) Move existing mulch over to low areas – bring shovels, maybe wheel borrow
3) Cut grass along entrance, greenway, etc – bring lawn mowers, weed eaters, etc
4) Clean trash out of cove – we will have trash bags

Workdays – held the first Saturday of the Month – will start at 9am and finish by 11am.

Kellex Second Workday

On Wednesday, April 3, Kellex Seating again showed their generous spirit and commitment to Valdese Lakeside Park with a second all day work session at the property. Thirteen employees spent the day at the park cutting and hauling down and dead trees from what will be a kayak launch and picnic area in the future. The debris was taken to the Valdese Waste Water Treatment Plant where it will be shredded into mulch. Continue reading

Master Park Plan Approved

The standing room only April 1 Council Meeting included several votes regarding Valdese Lakeside Park – and they all passed unanimously. One vote was to approve the Master Park Plan. When the approved plan is submitted with the PARTF grant, more points are awarded, which will put the application higher in the ranking to receive money. Approving the plan does not mean it will all be built, but will serve as a guide for developing Valdese Lakeside Park and show grant officials a plan is in place. Continue reading

Signs at Valdese Lakeside Park

Based on visitor requests ….. Friends of the Valdese Rec purchased signs to help people get to and navigate the park. We have signs pointing to VLP near the Waster Water Plant, signs for parking, signs for trail heads, signs for points of interest. It may be overload – but we want people to feel comfortable exploring Valdese Lakeside Park.

Public Input for PARTF Grant – VLP

Parks and Recreation Director Doug Knight spoke to the public on March 13 about Valdese Lakeside Park and what the PARTF grant would include. The grant application, due on May 1 and being completed by WPCOG, will request funds for restrooms, picnic area, dog park, wildlife viewing platform, kayak launch, walking trail to viewing platform, parking, entry road for around $300K. These are items in the Master Park Plan.

Summary of all grants–

NC DEQ Grant – Requesting $200K to match $200K in donations from community
This grant is for a 10-foot-wide crushed cinder greenway along the lake and creek, permeable parking area and responsible storm water drainage. The application was filed on December 31, 2018. Award will be late April/early May.

Recreational Trails Program Grant – Requesting $100K to match $25K from community
This grant is to help pay for a 200-foot bridge across McGalliard Creek to complete the trail from McGalliard Falls Park to Valdese Lakeside Park – creating a 2-mile greenway connecting the parks. Total cost of the bridge is $250K. Application filed March 1, 2019. Award will be Oct/Nov.

NC Parks and Recreation Trust Fund Grant – Requesting $300K to match DEQ/Community
This grant will fund Phase 1 Amenities at Valdese Lakeside Park such as restrooms, picnic area, educational overlook. Application will be filed by May 1, 2019. Award will be Aug/Sept.

Donations are still being accepted. The more we have, the more we can build.

Connect VLP to South Mountains State Park?

The new I-40 Exit 111 Bridge will be pedestrian and bicycle friendly!

After the December 18, 2018 meeting organized by Representative Blackwell regarding regional trails and interstate bridges, partners in Burke County worked together to form a request to NC DOT that the Exit 111 Bridge (which is already being redesigned) include updates to make it safe for pedestrian and bike traffic. This was the first step in creating a connection from Valdese Lakeside Park to South Mountains State Park. Partners included: Town of Valdese, Town of Rutherford College, Foothills Conservancy of NC, Burke County, WPCOG, Friends of the Valdese Rec.

Continue reading