In the early days, the Waldenses, who settled Valdese in 1893, enjoyed walking to the Falls on Sunday afternoon – in their church clothes – for a picnic of bread, cheese and fruit. Children would also swim in the area below the Falls.
In 1906, Fred Meytre built a watermill local farmers. Unfortunately, it was destroyed by a flood in 1916. The mill was rebuilt using a turbine and continued operating until 1941. Mr. Meytre was getting older and many workers were being called to serve in WWII. The mill was once again rebuilt in 1982 to get the water wheel turning. The wheel you see today was manufactured onsite to replace the one that was crushed by a tree that fell on the previous wheel in 2016. Continue reading
Thanks to Ruth Fletcher Gage and Zakk Heile, we are getting a closer look at the wildlife at Valdese Lakeside Park. After Beth Heile commented that she could not get a picture of the otters at the park, Ruth suggested a wildlife camera and that she would fund it. Zakk is in charge of camera operations – camera use, set up, pulling video and pictures.
Several pictures of deer (even 5 at once) have been captured. The picture on the left of the deer is from a video of the deer seemingly checking out the camera.
The video of the Great Blue Heron eating a fish in the cove is incredible. Continue reading
Starting a Butterfly Kit at the first Conservation Kids monthly program was the plan for March. The goal was to leave the transforming caterpillars at the library for kids to drop in and watch the cycle. However, the virus put a stop to our first meeting and the caterpillars had to be watched through pictures. See the series of pictures over the three week transformation. The painted lady butterflies have been released into the world to be good pollinators.
Companies and individuals are contributing to the success of Valdese Lakeside Park in ways you would never think.
At this time, Valdese Leasing, LLC and Shuford Development, Inc. own the land that Lake Rhodhiss Drive sits on close to Lovelady Road — making it a private road. Continue reading
FVR was officially formed on April 1, 2015. It has been 5 years since FVR formed with the main purpose to help the town acquire the 300 acres of land on Lake Rhodhiss for a park. We are still going strong with amenities coming to Valdese Lakeside Park this year. And, along the way we have held programs and events (for seniors, kids & everyone), beautified parks and raised lots of money. None of this would have been possible without our members, donors, volunteers and participants! We were hoping to celebrate together today, but as with everything social, it will have to wait!! Right now, the plan is for Wednesday, June 3.
After 9 trail building workdays, amazing progress is being made at Valdese Lakeside Park. The FVR Trail Blazers meet the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of each month at 9 am to work on the trail from the greenway to Meditation Point. Find us at the start of the greenway between the blue trail and the ribbon cutting area.
There are jobs for all abilities – digging out roots, raking trail clear, cutting out trail with a rogue hoe, hauling off down limbs, cutting briars. If that isn’t your cup of tea … the cove always needs cleaning. Continue reading
Our annual Friends of the Valdese Rec general membership meeting was held on Tuesday, March 10. The program – State of Parks and Recreation – was provided by Doug Knight, Valdese Parks and Recreation Director. The meeting was open to the general public.
Those in attendance: Doug Knight, Beth Heile, Pat Zimmerman, Cutie Kaplan, Gavin Smith, W.T. Sorrell, Nancy Tucker, Val Scott, Susan Stevenson, Will and Rose Mueller, James Sweezy, Paul Mears, Rick Pons, Debbie Montanez, Sam Fitzwater.
The FVR year runs April 1 – March 31. President FVR Beth Heile provided the following information as a summary of the past year.
Valdese Lakeside Park Funding and Hours
Transferred $84,875 of park donations to Town of Valdese for Phase 1 that starts this year
$119,853.30 available for Bridge – need $40K
Applying for $250K RTP Grant for Mountain Biking Trails and Pump Track Continue reading
Amazing turn out for the March 1 Group Walk on the Greenway. About 70 people joined the organized event and plenty more there on their own at the park and along Lake Rhodhiss Drive. We had a few who could not walk the distance take part in the Sit & Socialize – and they turned out to be the “greeters.” Representative Hugh Blackwell and his wife Ann participated. FVR President Beth Heile thanked Rep Blackwell for getting the Wilderness Gateway State Trail to connect to Valdese Lakeside Park – and for now working to get the Fonta Flora Trail to come along the river to Drexel, Valdese, Rutherford College and on to Catawba County! We would also like to thank The News Herald for a photo reminder of this event and all the coverage they give to the park.
One mother’s love of reading to her children motivated her to give back. And, her generous gift has snowballed into a monthly educational program for children. Continue reading
Our first Valdese Lakeside Park Group Walk on the Greenway of this year kicked off on Super Bowl Sunday. Thirty people enjoyed the 2.6 mile walk along Lake Rhodhiss and McGalliard Creek enhanced by the unseasonably warm weather. Adventurers also tried out the new connector trail to Meditation Point. The FVR Trail Blazers have been working on this trail since December and hikers gave it a thumbs up – even though there is a little more work to be done before completion. Join the group walk next month – Sunday, March 1 at 2:00 pm.