The Elizabeth River Trail Foundation has accepted a $200,000 grant from the Hampton Roads Community Foundation, as part of $1.32 million in funds the community foundation awarded to seven area nonprofits that focused on environmental stewardship and vibrant places in the region.
The foundation will allocate the grant over two years to add amenities to the 10.5-mile, multi-use pedestrian and bike trail.
Plans for 2019 include the development of the Plum Point Park Trailhead, located on the Elizabeth River, near downtown Norfolk and the Ghent area. It will feature playground equipment, an obstacle course, walking labyrinth, bike maintenance station, hydration station for humans and pets and an ADA-accessible kayak launch.
A new wayfinding sign package, of more than 400 signs, will begin installation in late spring.
The multi-use trail is designed for walking, running and biking. It comprises 11 sections and 11 trailheads, from Norfolk State University to NIT Terminals, along the Elizabeth River.(Photo courtesy of the city of Norfolk.)
In 2018, the foundation launched a $4-million comprehensive capital campaign to raise funds for significant amenities and to activate the trail.
It has currently raised $3,473,714, or 86 percent, of its Phase 1 goal.
In addition to the Hampton Roads Community Foundation, other major project sponsors include, Sentara Healthcare, city of Norfolk, PRA Group, TowneBank Foundation, Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters, Landmark Foundation, Virginia Maritime Association and Hampton Roads Shipping Association.
The improvements are designed to have a positive impact on the quality of life for citizens and visitors, while increasing awareness of local environment and waterways.
An enhanced trail aims to benefit the region in the following ways:
Develop a healthy living culture, by providing people of all ages a beautiful, accessible and safe recreational environment.
Improve connectivity for the 28 neighborhoods located with a five-minute walk.
Be an economic development engine to increase revenue for trail-focused and adjacent businesses.
The Elizabeth River Trail Foundation’s mission is to promote, enhance and transform the Elizabeth River Trail into the most iconic urban riverfront trail in the country. The ERT runs 10.5 miles and connects businesses, historic attractions and 28 neighborhoods within a five-minute walk.
The multi-use trail is designed for walking, running and biking. It comprises 11 sections and 11 trailheads, from Norfolk State University to NIT Terminals, along the Elizabeth River. Its highlights include, Harbor Park, Downtown Norfolk, Freemason Historic District, Sentara campus, Fort Norfolk, Chelsea, West Ghent, Lambert’s Point, Old Dominion University, Larchmont and Lochhaven. For more information, visit www.elizabethrivertrail.org.
The Hampton Roads Community Foundation is the largest grant and scholarship provider in southeastern Virginia. With a vision of a thriving community with opportunity for all, the community foundation strives to make life better in Hampton Roads, through leadership, philanthropy and civic engagement.
Since its founding in 1950, donors from all walks of life have enabled the community foundation to put more than $282 million to work, improving life for area residents. Learn more at www.hamptonroadscf.org.