Author Archives: Beth Heile

Fun at the Falls

Fun at the Falls – Free Family Fun – was a huge success. With free crafts, free educational programs and a free hot dog lunch about 200 attendees enjoyed their day with friends and family at McGalliard Falls Park.

Kids were able to make pine cone bird feeders, create art out of recycled plastic bottle tops and paint rocks to hide around the county.

For education, there was a finding critters in the creek program, a fossil hunt and a fly tying demo.

Friends of the Valdese Rec, Bimbo Bakeries, Catawba River Wildlife Coalition and the North Carolina Wildlife Federation – Great Outdoors University worked together to provide the free day. After the activities, Burke Sunrise Rotary held their Duck Derby Fundraiser.

Thanks to FVR and CRWC Volunteers: James Sweezy, Kim Simpkins, Rachel Watts, Cadence Davis, Beth Heile, Rick Pons, Joyce Brittain, Don Brittain.

Kellex Presented Award

(Pictured: Chris Rice, Byran Beam, Beth Heile, Quez Little)

The North Carolina Wildlife Federation presented the 56th Annual Governor’s Conservation Achievement Awards Saturday evening.

These prestigious awards are the highest natural resource honors given in the state. By recognizing, publicizing, and honoring these conservation leaders–young and old, professional and volunteer-the North Carolina Wildlife Federation hopes to inspire all North Carolinians to take a more active role in protecting the natural resources of our state.

Business Conservationist of the Year – Kellex Seating – Kellex Seating’s commitment to conservation is evident not only in its commitment to using recyclable and renewable materials in the manufacturing process, but also by its significant financial contribution to Valdese Lake Park to purchase 300 acres for a public recreational park. Taking it further, employees committed hundreds of hours towards cleaning up debris, removing invasive plants, installing pollinator gardens and improving wildlife habitat on the site of the future park. (Nominated by Friends of the Valdese Rec)

VLP Gets PARTF Grant

Valdese Parks & Recreation Director Doug Knight

At the August 23 Meeting of the Parks and Recreation Authority, grants were awarded to local governments for their Parks and Recreation projects. The Authority received 56 applications ($16M requested) and was able to fund 14 projects for $4.7M. Fortunately, the Town of Valdese was one of them.

The $285K PARTF Grant is for restrooms, picnic area, dog park, wildlife viewing platform, kayak launch, walking trail to viewing platform, parking, entry road at Valdese Lakeside Park. The DEQ awarded grant and community donations will cover the match.

We are waiting to hear from one more grant – the RTP Grant that would help fund the bridge over McGalliard Creek to complete the greenway from Valdese Lakeside Park to McGalliard Falls Park. Even if we receive that grant, we will still need $35K more for the bridge. Donate

In May, the Town of Valdese was awarded a $200K grant to help with the greenway and parking. Donations from the community are at $266K to help match grants and fund amenities.

The Trail to Valdese

South Mountains State Park to Valdese Lakeside Park? How did it happen? 

The talk of trails connecting parks and trails across Burke County was a message first presented on April 13, 2018 to Valdese and Rutherford College Officials by Bryant and Linda Lindsey, at the request of Rep Hugh Blackwell. From that meeting, it was determined to connect the mountains in our back yard (the South Mountains) to the lake off our front porch (Lake Rhodhiss) there would need to be safe passage across I-40 for bicycles and pedestrians. Rep Blackwell suggested a meeting with DOT to learn more about making a bridge safe for these groups.  More detail on the April meeting

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Fundraiser on Main St

Friends of the Valdese Rec sold beer for the Town of Valdese’s Independence Day Celebration. We also handled the 50/50 raffle for the event.

By the end of the night, $2000 was raised for Valdese Lakeside Park and other projects.

Thanks to our volunteers!

Beer sales: Toni Reece, Kim and Trey Simpkins plus Dale, Christa Miller, Inga Fricke Ramona Barus, Beth Heile.

Raffle workers: Don Brittain, Rachel Watts Olivia Turner, Maryann Diamond and Nancy Roberts.

Look for us at the Waldensian Festival held August 9-10. We will be selling beer again.


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Trail Building/Maintenance Class

Doug Veazey (MST Trail Maintenance Volunteer for 10 years) led class on Wednesday morning, May 22 for FVR Board Members to learn about trail maintenance and trail building. The goal is for these students to teach others who may work on the Valdese Lakeside Park trails about sustainable trail methods. Along with Mark Rostan, Gavin Smith, Eric Heile and Beth Heile, Parks and Recreation Director Doug Knight was in attendance.

Doug Veazey volunteers twice a month to help maintain 70 miles of Mountains To Sea Trail in our area. He was a wealth of knowledge, extremely helpful and super friendly. We were fortunate that he took time to guide FVR!

We even completed a section of trail up to the future picnic area. And, hope to make a similar section on the other side of the hill.