In a recent e-newsletter, Beth Weisbrod, Executive Director of the Virginia Capital Trail Foundation, addresses a question I’ve often wondered about regarding the Jamestown-to-Williamsburg-to-Richmond greenway: Who will oversee it/maintain it/safeguard it once it’s completed in 2014?
In these days of tight budgets for all levels of government — local, state and federal — it would be a shame if all the money and effort spent building the trail went to waste because the powers that be decided it was too expensive to keep it up. Here’s what Weisbrod has to say:
The Virginia Capital Trail Foundation plays an important role in this question (of who will maintain the trail). Many of the maintenance needs are decided on between V-DOT and the locality. For example, in James City County, the county cuts the grass, and V-DOT takes care of repairs to the asphalt, bridges and railings. The VCTF installs signage and amenities, and repairs or replaces these as needed.
The VCTF also engages volunteers to take on tasks that will keep the trail pristine. This could be anything from periodic trail cleanups to removing debris or litter, or actually building an amenity to place along the trail. It might also include weed whacking, planting trees or cleaning up a specific area, like a trailhead or access point. In James City County, the YEPs (Young Emerging Professionals) have adopted the Greensprings portion of the trail, and the employees of Anheuser-Busch InBev have adopted the Chickahominy portion. They’ve committed to quarterly cleanups and making sure to communicate anything needing additional attention.
We’ve had a lot of inquiries about adopting the downtown Richmond portion and will be awarding that one shortly. There are so many ways to improve the trail, and keep it well maintained through volunteer labor. The below mural along a Wyoming trail was done as a Brownie troupe project.
As construction progresses and new phases open, there will be a lot of opportunities to lend a hand and keep the Virginia Capital Trail sparkling. Based on conversations, emails and phone calls, it seems there is no shortage of people ready to take this on.