Senator Warren Daniel was among the attendees at the Friends of the Valdese Rec (FVR) construction update tour at Valdese Lakeside Park. Work on phase one amenities started in May and will be completed by November 30. Donors, elected officials and candidates received an update from FVR President Beth Heile while standing in the graded parking lot where the restrooms and kiosk will be located. They then walked the greenway that will be ADA compliant and saw the future locations of the overlook, kayak launch and fishing pier. Attendees journeyed 1.3 miles to the future suspension bridge location that will take park visitors to McGalliard Falls Park. Rep Hugh Blackwell was impressed with the progress from his days of walking the grassy, mud puddle filled trail that had been available to visitors for the past three years. Blackwell sponsored legislation creating the Wilderness Gateway State Trail and has been working with local governments in planning the Burke River Trail – both trails follow the Valdese Greenway. Continue reading Tour of Construction at VLP
North Carolinians have something new to look forward to in 2023. Under the leadership of Representative Dean Arp, R-69 (Union), Representative Hugh Blackwell, R-86 (Burke), Representative Pat Hurley, R-70 (Randolph), Representative Larry Strickland, R-28 (Harnett, Johnston), the NC House and now the NC Senate on August 10, 2021 passed HB 554, designating 2023 as “North Carolina Year of the Trail”. This designation is supported by the North Carolina Great Trails State Coalition (of which FVR is a member) and the group will be spearheading the plans for the year. Continue reading NC Year of the Trail 2023
FVR was extremely excited to receive an Extreme Terrain Clean Trail Grant – a grant available to non-profits for trail improvement projects.
This grant helped us with a huge work weekend we held August 6-8 when we had to quickly reroute the Red Outer Loop Trail off private property at Valdese Lakeside Park. Continue reading Extreme Terrain Grant
As work continues at Valdese Lakeside Park on the parking area and restroom site, the greenway is now getting attention. Pictured here is where the greenway passes the picnic area (or the right). If you ever walked the grass greenway, you know this was a little steep. Workers are cutting into the hill to make sure it meets ADA standards for grade.
To see weekly construction update videos from FVR Media Specialist Zakk Heile, go to VLP Construction
Representative Hugh Blackwell has been named Public Lands Conservationist of the Year by NCWF.
NC Representative Hugh Blackwell (District 86) has been a trailblazer in preserving thousands of acres in western North Carolina by increasing the miles of trails, leaving a legacy for future generations.
A State Trail can only be created by authorization of the General Assembly. Blackwell worked with NC State Parks and sponsored bills for three State Trails – Fonta Flora State Trail (Morganton to Asheville), Wilderness Gateway State Trail (Baker’s Mountain to Chimney Rock) and Overmountain Victory State Trail (SC line and TN line to Stone Mountain). After the passing of the bills, the number of State Trails from grew from six to nine. Continue reading Rep Blackwell – Conservation Award
The grassy field parking lot at the end of Lake Rhodhiss Drive is now closed. The only parking area to access Valdese Lakeside Park is at the intersection of Lake Rhodhiss Dr and Lovelady Rd. The only people entrances are Hoyle Creek Trail from Lovelady Rd and the fire hydrant from Lake Rhodhiss Dr. Continue reading Construction Started at VLP
No more driving to Morganton or Hudson for those in eastern Burke County. A dog park is coming to Valdese Lakeside Park! Last fall, Friends of the Valdese Rec (FVR) applied for a grant from the J Alex and Vivian G. Mull Foundation Charitable Fund to help with fencing for a dog park. The grant was awarded contingent on FVR raising a matching $5,000 from the community. To ensure the success of that fundraiser, Farris Insurance pledged another $5,000 if the individuals and businesses met the match by March 31, 2021. The required match was met a week early. Continue reading Dog Park Match Met
The FVR Annual General Membership Meeting was held online. The guest Speaker was Ryan Sparks with Foothills Conservancy of NC. A Land and Water Fund grant was used to purchase the Valdese Lakeside Park property and FCNC monitors the land to make sure the restrictions are being followed. (notes from Ryan below)
75 Volunteers came out on Saturday, March 13 to carry out trash from old dump sites and tree stands, clean the cove, clear brush and move daffodils that will be destroyed by construction. They were from Rotary Club of Valdese, Church of Latter Days Saints and the community. Thanks to the Town of Valdese for providing the dump truck.
Thanks to NC State House Speaker Moore, the Town of Valdese received $51K in funding from NCDOT for the Valdese Lakeside Park project. The park will include an ADA compliant greenway along Lake Rhodhiss and McGalliard Creek for which NC DOT reviewed the plans and supports. Last year, Representative Blackwell contacted Speaker Moore to inform him that Friends of the Valdese Rec, the all-volunteer organization that has been fundraising for the park, had hit a roadblock, and needed help. Over the past 4 years, the non-profit has rallied the community to support this $2.3M project with $825,000 from private donations and $1.5M from state grants. Continue reading Speaker Moore Helps VLP