Burke River Trail – Morganton & Drexel

Morganton City Manager Sally Sandy was more than ready for the visit from the Burke River Trail planning team which included Representative Blackwell, Western Piedmont Council of Governments (WPCOG) GIS Analyst Todd Stroupe and Friends of the Valdese Rec President Beth Heile. The City of Morganton had explored the idea of expanding the Catawba River Greenway to the east in the past and Sandy’s staff was full of ideas and route suggestions. Continue reading

Burke River Trail – Rhodhiss & Hildebran

The Burke River Trail town tour continues with stops in Rhodhiss and Hildebran. On Monday, Representative Blackwell, FVR President Beth Heile and representatives from Western Piedmont Council of Governments (WPCOG) got a tour of Town of Rhodhiss from new Town Manager Rick Justice. Justice took the group to the Rhodhiss Boat Access on Weaver Lane which would be an incredible stop on the trail with restrooms and parking. The town-owned Horseshoe Trail Park was also a must see. Continue reading

Burke River Trail – Rutherford College

Pictured from left: President, Friends of the Valdese Rec; NC Rep. Hugh Blackwell (R-86); John Wear, Senior Planner for Western Piedmont Council of Governments (WPCOG); Kenneth Geathers, Rutherford College Town Manager; Mayor Gary McClure of Rutherford College; Todd Stroupe, GIS Analyst for WPCOG; Averi Ritchie, Transportation Planner for WPCOG

The Burke River Trail – a proposed trail following the Catawba River through Drexel, Valdese and beyond – has another segment sponsor. After Rutherford College Mayor Gary McClure and Town Manager Kenneth Geathers met with planners from Western Piedmont Council of Governments (WPCOG) to learn more, they are on board with what the trail will bring to Rutherford College. Continue reading

FVR Subject of Webinar

Parks and Recreation Director Doug Knight and FVR President and Founder Beth Heile were the case study for the Recreation Resources Service (RRS) Webinar about Park Foundations working with Municipal Park Departments. The target audience was Recreation Directors from across the state.

During the 90 minute session, Beth and Doug covered why FVR was created, how FVR and the Rec Dept work together, the successes, how others can create a friends group and more. The goal was for other municipalities to benefit from the same non-profit group.

Watch the Webinar

Need are reminder of what FVR Volunteers have done? Check out this list from 2019.

River Cleanup by Boat -2020

Three local organizations committed to protecting our natural resources joined forces to clean the Catawba River – by boat.

Volunteers with Catawba River Wildlife Coalition, Friends of the Valdese Rec (FVR) and Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina put in their boats, kayaks and canoes at the Valdese Water Plant. Armed with trash bags and grabbers, they set off to clean the shores of both the Burke County side and Caldwell County side of the river. By the time they reached Castle Bridge, the 15 volunteers had collected 15 bags of trash, a seat from a boat, car parts, and buckets. Three high school students from the new FVR Trail Blazers Club pitched in to learn the importance of keeping our water supply clean.

Participants: Amy Alexander, Jim Clark, Asa Clark, Kat Dial, Rachael Dial, Ted Carothers, Tom Troy, Alex Church, Zakk Heile, Brittany Watkins, Beth Heile, Eric Heile, Addison Poteat, Dave Mursch, Amy Voss

Porta John at VLP

Every feel like you need more time at Valdese Lakeside Park? But you need to use the restroom – so you leave.

Well, that is not a problem anymore! Farris Insurance has paid for a Porta John to be at the park through October. It is being cleaned every Wednesday.

Trail Blazers Club

Zakk Heile, Charter Member of the trail club for high school students overlooks property for Burke River Trail

In January, Friends of the Valdese Rec started building a sustainable trail at Valdese Lakeside Park. Volunteers learned there was a big difference between existing deer trails and the techniques used to build a lasting trail. A sustainable trail has minimal impact to the natural area, does not adversely affect wildlife, manages water flow and requires little long-term maintenance.

With Draughn High School students joining the trail building workdays, Beth Heile, FVR president, started exploring ways to get trail building classes into Burke County Schools. Continue reading