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

Burke River Trail – Foundation Laid

Burke River Trail Meeting Attendees: Doug Setzer – BCPS Director of Auxiliary Services, Wendi Craven – BCPS Board of Education, Averi Ritchie – WPCOG Planner, Larry Bragg – Natural Land Alliance, Representative Hugh Blackwell, Scott Carpenter – Deputy Burke County Manager, Doug Knight – Valdese Parks and Recreation Director, Shane Gardner – Principal DHS, Doug Hallyburton – Assistant Principal/Athletic Director. Not pictured: Beth Heile – President, Friends of the Valdese Rec

The foundation was laid today for the first section of the Burke River Trail – 4 miles from McGalliard Falls to Valdese Lakeside Park to Draughn High School to a private development. Continue reading

Stream Restoration

On May 6, Resource Institute visited McGalliard Falls Park and Valdese Lakeside Park. They are a stream/river restoration firm (spoke at a Catawba River Wildlife Coalition meeting) and want to help restore McGalliard Creek and the VLP kayak launch area. They are knowledgeable about various grant monies and will be able to match those with current grants and community donations. Getting them involved may slow down park construction – but it will make it better. Continue reading

Stock Donations

Friends of the Valdese Rec now accepts gifts of stock.

We have a brokerage account with First Citizens Investor Services. Contact us for more information.