Community Picnic at VLP

On Monday, October 7, Friends of the Valdese Rec hosted a covered dish picnic lunch for the community. Held in the Kellex Seating picnic area, about 30 people enjoyed the overcast fall afternoon that included plenty of delicious food and lots of conversation. Several attendees took to the trails after lunch.

FVR Volunteers – Always Giving

Look at all these FVR volunteers who showed up independently at The Levee Brewery and Pub for a Highlands Family Farm dinner. These volunteers support our parks and our local businesses!! What an amazing group – always giving and having fun at the same time.

Thanks to September Volunteers:

Fun at the Falls: Rick Pons, Kimberley Waldroff-Simpkins, Rachel Watts, Cadence Davis, Beth Heile, Joyce Brittain, Don Brittain, Joyce Brittain
Tuesday VLP Cleanup: Val Scott, Clinton Scott, Beth Heile, Eric Heile, Mark Rostan, Sam Fitzwater
Catawba River Cleanup: Tom Troy, Eric Heile, Beth Heile, Tom Kenney, Susan Bottafuoco, Bob Richards

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.