The Four Mile Run Conservatory Foundation is receiving a grant award of $300,000 toward a project to build a public, accessible floating launch for kayaks, canoes and other non-motorized recreational watercraft on the tidal portion of Four Mile Run, which feeds into the Potomac River.
The project is one of seven selected for funding by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation through its Recreational Trails Program (RTP) in 2022.
From the new launch point on Four Mile Run in Alexandria, paddlers will be able to access the Potomac River Water Trail and areas where restoration work has enhanced wildlife habitat and ecological function.
The project would be the first metro-area launch to the Potomac River meeting Americans with Disabilities Act standards, and it will include a transfer platform suitable for wheelchair users. The launch will also feature a roller-entry ramp, providing increased safety for unassisted or novice paddlers when launching or landing.
“Access to nature, especially on waterways close to home, greatly enhances health and well-being. Seeing how demand for water recreation continues to rise, we are thrilled to be receiving this support for a public-access project we’ve worked toward for several years,” said foundation president Kurt Moser. “We still have a way to go in our fund-raising, but this is a huge leap forward.”
With already-committed matching funding of $25,000 from an anonymous donor, project funding is well past the halfway mark toward the overall cost, estimated at roughly a half-million dollars.
The cost of the engineering design, completed in February this year, was supported by community contributions and matching grant funding of $17,600 awarded in 2020 by the Alexandria Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities (RPCA). The project is currently under consideration for additional RPCA matching-grant funding of $50,000.
Donations in support of the project are welcome at https://give-usa.keela.co/4MR-water-access.
The Recreational Trails Program is a federal, matching-reimbursement program established to construct and rehabilitate recreational trails and trail-related facilities. The Federal Highway Administration allocates funds to each state and provides oversight to state agencies that administer the program. The Department of Conservation and Recreation administers the program in Virginia.
Counties, cities and towns, park and recreation authorities, tribal governments, state agencies, federal agencies and not-for-profit organizations are eligible to compete for funding.
For information on the Four Mile Run Conservatory Foundation, see the Website at www.fourmilerun.org.