Media inquiries: Please contact Gary Waugh, email@example.com, 804-786-5045.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: October 19, 2006
Contact: Gary Waugh, DCR Public Relations Manager, (804) 786-5045, firstname.lastname@example.org
Draft outdoor recreation, conservation and open space plan to be presented at local meetings
Presentation to include local recommendations
(RICHMOND, Va.) – A new draft of the state’s outdoor recreation, conservation and open space plan, including local recommendations, will be the focus of four public meetings held in Fredericksburg and Warsaw, Monday, Oct. 30.
Planners from the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation will present the draft Virginia Outdoors Plan at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. meetings at the George Washington Regional Commission Office in Fredericksburg and the Northern Neck Planning District Commission Office in Warsaw. These are among more than 40 meetings to be held statewide Oct. through Dec.
The Virginia Outdoors Plan is the state’s official conservation, outdoor recreation and open space guide. All levels of government and the private sector use it in determining and meeting land conservation, outdoor recreation and open space needs. Recommendations in the plan are also used as one of the tools in ranking projects for Virginia Land Conservation Foundation funds.
“The VOP has long been an important tool in meeting Virginians’ outdoor recreational needs,” said DCR Director Joseph H. Maroon. “With Gov. Kaine’s commitment to land conservation, this plan takes on added significance.”
The plan is revised every five years. As part of its revision, DCR staff have updated the outdoor recreation resource inventory, conducted a statewide Virginia Outdoor Survey with assistance from Virginia Commonwealth University and last fall held a series of 40 public input meetings statewide. Among the topics brought up in those meetings were trails and greenway linkages, water trails and scenic waterways, urban greenspace, eco-tourism and nature deficit disorder. Local outdoor recreation and conservation recommendations also surfaced. Recommendations found in the draft plan include:
For City of Fredericksburg and Stafford, Spotsylvania, King
George, Caroline counties:
- Complete the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail that connects natural and cultural features along a 700-mile corridor of the Potomac River from the Chesapeake Bay to the Allegheny Highlands. The National Park System manages this partnership.
- Support the establishment of Fredericksburg Pathways, a system of bicycle and pedestrian trails that connect Fredericksburg sites. Trails included in the Fredericksburg Pathways system include the Rappahannock River Heritage Trail and the Virginia Central Rail Trail, as well as other proposed pathways.
- Evaluate for Virginia Scenic River designation the Rappahannock River in Stafford, Spotsylvania, King George and Caroline counties, between the City of Fredericksburg and the King George/Westmoreland County line.
For Westmoreland, Richmond, Northumberland, Lancaster counties:
- Incorporate the National Park Service’s Captain John Smith National Historic Trail in local comprehensive plans as a way to further heritage and ecotourism in the region.
- Support the National Park Service’s Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail along the lower Potomac region to create connections by water by developing water trails and making appropriate land connections for vehicles and bicyclists to key tourist destination sites.
- State agencies should work with the Northern Neck Public Access Authority to obtain funding for additional public access sites, especially at previous ferry landing locations.
The George Washington Regional Commission Office is located
at 3304 Bourbon Street, Fredericksburg. The Northern Virginia
PDC Office is at 457 Main Street in Warsaw.
The draft VOP is also available for review on the DCR website. Go to www.dcr.virginia.gov; click on “Recreation Planning” then on “Draft 2007 Virginia Outdoors Plan.” Comments will be accepted through Dec. 15, 2006 and can be sent to email@example.com.
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