News Item Details
New Public Boating Access Coming to the Upper James River
Fincastle, VA – On Tuesday, November 27, the Botetourt County Board of Supervisors approved three separate agreements to lease property in the Gala community to construct the County’s second new public boating access for the Upper James River Water Trail in the last twelve months.
The two lease agreements for approximately 4 acres and a road easement near Columbia Gas Company and Sinking Creek solidified the County’s plans to strategically locate the new boat launch approximately half way between the existing public access points at Iron Gate and Craig Creek.
“The site is ideal and one that the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries had identified many years ago as a prime location for a boat launch”, stated Pete Peters, Director of Parks, Recreation and Tourism for Botetourt County. “By utilizing Sinking Creek and the existing railroad trestle, we are able to provide a safe passage to the James River and make another section of the river more accessible to recreational paddlers and fishermen.”
Construction of the new Gala site is slated to begin in January 2013 and is expected to be open to the public by April 2013, with the majority of the construction work being conducted by the County’s Parks and Recreation Department with in-house labor and equipment. In addition to providing easy road access from Route 220, the site will contain gravel parking for approximately 20 vehicles and a hand carry boat ramp to place canoes, kayaks and small Jon-boats into Sinking Creek which flows into the James River.
To assist with the financial capital necessary to construct this access point, the County has been actively pursuing grants and donations from a variety of sources. To date, the County has received $5,500 from various local community businesses, including Twin River Outfitters, a canoe livery and river tour company operating in Buchanan, and from NiSource Charitable Foundation, a not-for-profit entity of Columbia Gas Company. Botetourt County was also recently selected to receive a $5,000 grant from The Alleghany Foundation to assist with the development of this site, bringing the total available funds for the Gala project to $10,500.
ABOUT THE ALLEGHANY FOUNDATION
The Alleghany Foundation was established in 1995 with $35 million in proceeds from the sale of Alleghany Regional Hospital. Since then, the Foundation has awarded over $34 million in grants in the areas of healthcare, education, recreation, economic development, arts & humanities, historic preservation and social and community services. To learn more, visit http://www.alleghanyfoundation.org.
ABOUT THE NISOURCE CHARITABLE FOUNDATION
NiSource Charitable Foundation was established to help create strong and sustainable communities where their employees and customers live and work. In close collaboration with NiSource employees and community partners, the Foundation seeks opportunities to provide funding and encourage volunteer support for non-profit organizations in the areas of Community Vitality and Development, Environmental and Energy Sustainability, Learning and Science Education, and Public Safety and Human Services. To learn more, visit http://www.nisource.com/en/sustainability/communities/corporate-giving.aspx.
ABOUT THE UPPER JAMES RIVER WATER TRAIL
The Upper James River Water Trail is a paddling route along a 45 miles stretch of the James River in Botetourt County that increases recreational opportunities and encourages environmental awareness while also linking communities and land-based attractions such as historic sites and parks. The Upper James River Water Trail was created by Botetourt County to encourage residents and visitors to experience the beauty and history of one of the County’s greatest natural treasures as it begins its majestic journey through the Allegheny and Blue Ridge Mountains on its way to the Chesapeake Bay. To learn more, visit www.upperjamesriverwatertrail.com
For more information, contact
Richard “Pete” Peters, Director
Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism