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
Have you ever wondered what is wandering around Valdese Lakeside Park? Thanks to our Media Specialist Zakk Heile we know!
In March 2020, Beth Heile commented that she had not been able to get a picture of the otters at the park. Ruth Fletcher Gage suggested a wildlife camera and that she would fund it. As they say, the rest is history.
Zakk Heile researched cameras and started with a Campark T80. After seeing Zakk’s results posted on social media, John Setzler donated a Moultrie MCG-13270. This allowed setting up in more locations for longer periods of time. The Moultrie provides dates, time and temperature on the video for better tracking of habits. Trail cameras have long been known by hunters, but we are seeing the educational benefits. Continue reading Wildlife Camera
In December, FVR set up a temporary Story Trail at Valdese Lakeside Park. Starting at the main entrance, children can read a book as the walk the greenway to the picnic area. To create the story trail, each page of a book is placed in a protective sleeve and tied with string to a tree branch so it hangs low enough for a child to hold and read. Pages are spaced over the 0.2 mile walk to the picnic tables where they can eat with their family and discuss the book. The project was such a huge hit with the community, the story trail will continue with a new book each week.
We did not plan a Trail Race this year because we thought construction would be underway. However, the trails are still clear and we set up routes for you to do virtually. Run a 5K or 10K at a time that best suits you. Run at your own risk!! Post your time on facebook – just a number or your running app screen shot. Run it several days to try to improve your time. Routes
It has been hard to plan an outside story time and craft in advance for Conservation Kids. But, it is easy to host a pop up craft station with a few days notice when great weather is on tap. This event was on Sunday afternoon, December 13 at Valdese Lakeside Park. This child is creating an ornament from a log slice and paints to hand on a tree or anywhere. Ranger Rick magazines are also given out. In November, we made pine cone bird feeders. Participants could have learned about the events on facebook or just been at the park on a perfectly beautiful day!
FVR is starting a Sculling Group. Helen Tueffel, an experienced sculler and new resident of the area, brought the idea to FVR. At the first interest meeting, Helen discussed the terms used in sculling and how we could proceed as a group. Four of the nine interested people rowed in college. The group will start with rowing machine exercises and watching videos such as How to Set Up Your Scull to prepare for a one day class at Belmont Rowing Center. It is not too late to be a part of this group. Let us know if you are interested. We are also keeping the Valdese Recreation Department in the loop in case they would want to add it to their programming.
Notice these signs along the Valdese Lakeside Park property line?
In Fall 2017, the North Carolina Land and Water Fund (was known as Clean Water Management Trust) awarded Town of Valdese $673,247 to assist in the purchase of the 300 forested acres on Lake Rhodhiss that also includes many creeks. Accepting the grant put the property under a conservation easement and it can never be used for industry, housing, etc.