Powhatan Creek Park and Blueway Wins National Award
Date: June 9, 2004
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Amy A. Hibbard, Communications Coordinator
Phone: (757) 259-3217
Williamsburg, VA - (June 9, 2004) James City County's Division of Parks and Recreation received a National Association of County Park and Recreation Officials (NACPRO) Award for Powhatan Creek Park and Blueway in the Class I - Parks and Recreation Facility category. The NACPRO Awards Committee had a challenging time scoring over 70 applications from throughout the United States.
Providing recreational access to our waterways has been a primary goal and Comprehensive Plan strategy in James City County for the past ten years. The James City County Greenway Master Plan, adopted in 2002 incorporated a blueway planning section to give guidance on water accessibility to sites of natural, cultural, historical, scenic, and environmental significance. Powhatan Creek Park and Blueway enables citizens and visitors alike to paddle down the Powhatan Creek to Jamestown Island and experience what early Colonists experienced 400 years ago. Interpretive signs are being developed to help educate visitors about the historic and environmental significance of the creek.
Beginning in 1993, funds for the purchase of a creek-side parcel were allocated from a brand new greenway capital development account. In 1994, Phase 1 development included environmental planning and regulatory approvals, master planning and site plan approval, and preliminary construction costing. Funding sources for major construction were minimal. Consequently, County staff coordinated volunteers to complete Phase 1 construction of a gravel parking lot and stormwater infiltration basin resulting in 27 volunteers donating 335 hours. This became the first of many citizen involvements to develop this park, the first public water access site on the Powhatan Creek since the landing at Jamestown in 1607. A vigorous community participatory planning process was initiated in 2002 to address many significant environmental concerns. In 2003, park improvements included a uniquely designed canoe/kayak launch, five observation piers, a paved walkway, stormwater enhancements, shoreline clean up, and re-vegetation with native plants. Since then, citizens have enjoyed the park for boating, fishing, sightseeing, bird watching, and other forms of aquatic recreation.
On behalf of the division staff we are proud to be recognized as part of James City County's outstanding organization which is a leader not only in the region and the Commonwealth, but throughout the United States. We appreciate the support and opportunity to be a part of such a high performance.
For more information on these and other great Parks and Recreation programs, call (757) 259-3200 or visit us on the web at www.jccEgov.com.