Fall Fun For All Along the Appomattox River!

FALL, 2017

FO LAR Announces  2017 Service Leadership Awards
Jerry Skalsky
Jerry J. Skalsky 
(In memoriam)
Richard Taylor
Christian Volk, Ph.D.
Riverside Regional Jail, Col. Jeffery Newton
John Randolph Foundation, Lisa H. Sharpe
Rev. Darrell Boggs 
Christian Volk

Cleve Wright  
John McEwen, Matoaca
Susan Watson and Ray Philbates, Scott Herrmann
Virginia Game & Inland Fisheries
City of Hopewell
Mayor Jackie M. Shornak and Interim City Manager Charlie Dane

Please join us at the Annual FOLAR FALL FLING to honor these great volunteers making a positive difference in our community!
Richard Taylor

FOLAR FALL FLING , will be held at the beautiful Pamplin Historical Park Museum on Thursday, November 30th from 5:00 - 8PM. Enjoy music, heavy hor d'orves, and select beer and wine.  Tickets are $40 each and INCLUDE ADMISSION to the museum from 5:00 - 6PM. 

Event proceeds will go toward FOLAR trail and river conservation. Please reserve your ticket online at
The Appomattox River Regional Park in Prince George County now offers a longer, stronger, more accessible canoe-kayak launch ramp. FOLAR worked with the Prince George County Parks & Recreation Department to facilitate improvements that were recently completed by John K. George & Co. The improved launch area is one of many great amenities at the sixty-seven acre riverfront park located between I-295 and the Riverside Regional Jail on River Road. The park also offers beautiful wooded trails, an observation-fishing pier on the Appomattox River, Educational Shelter, a ten station "Fitness Trail," and Restroom Facility. Watch for an announcement for the official "re-opening" celebration of the canoe-kayak launch. Until then, enjoy! And make a note - this is the location for next year's 5K Trail Run, April 7, 2018.
ART to VA Cap Trail Feasibility Study 

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The Crater Planning District Commission  (CPDC) and the Virginia  Department of Transportation (VDOT) with the assistance of Michael Baker International are conducting a studying of how best to help cyclists, pedestrians, and other non-motorized transportation users get from the Appomattox River Trail to the Virginia Capital Trail in Charles City County.  FOLAR is assisting the study group. study will evaluate several ways of crossing the James River and will identify opportunities and constraints in the study area in order to provide recommendations. The study will be completed by spring 2018.
Virginia Health Department and Crater Health District staff visit the A.R.T. at Patton Park in Petersburg
In October, as FOLAR works toward completion of the Neighborhood Trail Access project, members of the VHD came to Petersburg for a site visit of Patton Park and the Appomattox River Trail.  The group enjoyed a walk along the Trail to the Battersea Bridges and back. The Neighborhood Trail Access project is funded through a grant from the VDH-CHD with a goal of increasing opportunities for physical activity by increasing connections between urban neighborhood community sidewalks to more natural trail settings, parks, and greenspace. As part of the project, a detailed neighborhood level access plan was developed along with neighborhood branded wayfaring signage, and communication materials that will serve to strengthen local community awareness and attachment to use of the A.R.T. (Appomattox River Trail).
Hopewell Riverfront City Park re-opens - Stormwater Greenway underway - Riverwalk work to start soon 
City Park sign is first to include A.R.T. logo!
The City of Hopewell is in high gear working on projects that will benefit the River and increase the quality of life in this scenic riverfront community. In October, City Park re-opened after a nearly year-long improvement project that was funded by a $150,000 Building Better Communities grant from the American Water Charitable Foundation. The park boasts the only nature-inspired play space in the region. Also important is the  Riverside Park Stormwater Greenway Project, designed to eliminate sediment, nutrients, and trash that is choking the stream channel that runs through Riverside Park and into the Appomattox River at the Hopewell Marina. The improvements will create a Greenway of hiking and biking trails that will connect to the Appomattox River Trail (A.R.T.)  Amenities include a natural wooded area with observation overlook and other passive recreational opportunities. The Chesapeake Bay Foundation and Virginia State funding has helped to support this project. And, after a long design and bid process, the Hopewell Riverwalk project is about to be awarded with work anticipated to begin before the end of the year.
Volunteers  have been the strength of FOLAR throughout our 16 year history delivering amazing results all along the Lower Appomattox River. From building trails, to river clean-ups, to delivering special events for enjoying the river, our volunteers embody the dedication, enthusiasm and care for our environment.  Learn how you can get involved!  THANK YOU!
Events that Connect You to the River

FOLAR Welcomed Canoemobile Back to Hopewell's City Park
For the fourth year in a row 225, 4th grade students from elementary schools in Hopewell experienced the learning, health benefits, and inspiration that can be derived from a paddle on the river.  Many for the first time. Canoemobile is a roving fleet of six hand-made, 24 foot long Voyageur canoes, that travels across America to bring environmental literacy and dynamic outdoor learning experiences to urban youth.  The two day outreach event on October 10th and 11th in Hopewell is provided by Wilderness Inquiry , a non-profit outdoor recreation and education organization from Minneapolis, MN, and sponsored by the National Parks Conservation Association in coordination with the Petersburg National Battlefield.  FOLAR coordinated additional programming provided by Virginia American Water and the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries . A community day was held on Tuesday for drop-in local residents, including a few Hopewell Rotary Club members! A big thank you to the National Parks Conservation Association for sponsoring and to everyone who helped make this event possible for so m any children, including Dr. Hackney, Hopewell School Superintendent and the many Hopewell teachers who came out with their students!
Paddle or Battle 2017 - An Amazing Day on the River
The weather was sunny and warm and the river like glass for the 70 paddlers from as far away as Charlottesville, Hampton Roads, and Washington D.C., who participated in the 10th Annual FOLAR Paddle or Battle. While most were there to enjoy a leisurely paddle, ten racers also took off just before 10AM from the Hopewell Marina and paddled up river to Pocahontas Island, Petersburg. The fastest time in the Male Under 50 category was achieved by Edwin Arnoldo. Monty McNeil was fastest in the Male Over 50 category. Christine Fitzpatrick earned the fastest female award! FOLAR's many volunteers and sponsors including VULCAN Materials, Virginia American Water and the Appomattox River Soil and Water Conservation District helped to make the event a great success. We have lots of great photos on our Facebook page thanks to the wonderful photographers from the local Cockade City Camera Club including E. M. Betts III, J.A. Rooney Jr.,  Be sure to mark your calendar for next year's race, September 29, 2018!
18th Annual James River Regional Clean-up 
FOLAR hosted a clean-up site this year at Patton Park in P etersburg where Virginia State University students turned out in a big way ! Nearly 50 students helped pick up 55 bags of trash at the park and along the Appomattox River Trail. The Petersburg site was one of 16 along the James River and tributaries for the annual event organized by the James River Advisory Council (JRAC). FOLAR's annual clean-up is scheduled for March 31, 2018 at sites all along the Appomattox River.
Three new members join the FOLAR Board of Directors
Mike Golden
Mike Golden holds a B.A. in English along with a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Lehigh University; a Masters in Civil Engineering from Virginia Tech and PhD Coursework completed thru VCU in Public Policy and Administration. Mike has served as an Adjunct Faculty Member at VSU and VCU. Mike worked as Director of Chesterfield Parks & Recreation from 1992 until his retirement in 2016. As Director, he oversaw 115 full-time employees, a $10 million operating budget, and a $30-$40 million, five-year Capital Improvement Plan. Under Mike's leadership and philosophy of working with regional partners, Chesterfield County saw significant expansion of facilities for youth sports, historical sites and conservation areas on the James and Appomattox rivers.  He worked passionately and with great success to provide increased green space with walking and bike trails and fitness programs for all age groups. Mike's knowledge and experience will help FOLAR as we work to implement the Appomattox River Trail Master Plan.
Trip Pollard
Trip Pollard is a senior attorney with the Southern Environmental Law Center, a non-partisan, non-profit organization that works in Virginia and five other southern states to protect the natural areas and resources of the South.  He is the director of SELC's Land and Community Program, which promotes smarter growth and sustainable transportation throughout this region, and he is the head of SELC's Richmond office. He has written dozens of reports and articles, including pieces for Planning, Urban Land, Virginia Environmental Law Journal, and the William & Mary Environmental Law & Policy Review, as well as a chapter on transportation in the book Agenda for a Sustainable America.  Trip has served on numerous governmental commissions and advisory bodies, including the advisory committee for the City of Richmond's sustainability plan and for the Richmond Connects multimodal transportation plan, and he currently chairs Richmond's Green City Commission. He also serves on the board of various organizations, including Preservation Virginia, Virginians for High Speed Rail, the Partnership for Smarter Growth, and the Virginia Rail Policy Institute. Trip's extensive background will enable FOLAR to strengthen and grow as an organization to best serve the community.

Keith Rotzoll
Keith Rotzoll became the Prince George County Parks and Recreation Director in April of 2007 after working for the City of Hampton, VA since 1992. He possesses a Bachelor's Degree in Leisure Studies from the University of Illinois and a Master's Degree in Public Administration from Old Dominion University. His position affords him the opportunity to work on varied projects, programming opportunities, facility maintenance and scheduling, and strategic park planning. Keith served on the Virginia Recreation and Parks Society (VRPS) Board of Director's from 2007 through 2012, and is certified as both a Certified Recreation and Park Professional (CPRP) and Certified Playground Safety Inspector (CPSI) by the National Recreation and Park Association.  Keith is also a member of the Prince George Ruritan's. Keith will serve as the representative from Prince George County. His strong leadership and team-building skills will help FOLAR to expand connections with our community for greater positive impact on quality of life in the region.     

Financial support by our local corporations and foundations has enabled the current progress in the river's preservation and use. Their support has enabled FOLAR to make a difference by organizing conservation efforts like streamside clean-up projects; developing park, trail, and water access; and delivering environmental stewardship programs that engage individuals, schools, communities, and businesses to work side by side. Now, FOLAR needs those of us who are a part of the communities our river touches to join in support.

Thank you to our many sponsors who help support   FOLAR's work!
Support FOLAR when you shop this holiday season 
When you shop with Amazon for the holidays, use  AmazonSmile  for your purchases.  When you do, you'll be able to  select FOLAR  as your charity and Amazon will donate 0.5% of your purchase to support FOLAR's work to conserve and protect the beautiful Appomattox River!  It's easy to participate.  Just go to  instead of and use your same Amazon login information and password.  You'll be prompted to select your favorite charity, FOLAR, we hope. It's simple, it's helpful and - it's EASY! Thank you for your support.
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