Conservancy receives awards for new Fredericksburg access site

The Chesapeake Conservancy received two awards from the City of Fredericksburg Parks and Recreation Department at their 26th Annual Recreation Commission Volunteer Banquet held November 15 for its work to create a soft-launch facility for canoes and kayaks in the city’s Old Mill Park.

The ceremony honored volunteers and celebrated the many partnerships and contributions the department received over the past year.

Chesapeake Conservancy and Friends of the Rappahannock partnered on the effort and worked together to raise the funds and develop the technical aspects of the project. The Friends of the Rappahannock received funds from the National Park Service for the project, while the Chesapeake Conservancy received funds from Dominion Power for the work.

Both were honored for their work with the “Distinguished Meritorious Service Award ($10,000 or Greater) for unselfish contributions for the advancement and betterment of the Fredericksburg Parks & Recreation Department,” and the “Recreation Commissioner’s Award for the embodiment of community spirit and personal dedication for the betterment of the Fredericksburg Parks & Recreation Department.”

Robert K. Antozzi, Director of the department, presented the awards

Old Mill Park is located along the Rappahannock River and features beautiful views of the rivers, soccer fields, picnic shelters, and a waterfront path. A number of community events are held at the park each year and thousands of visitors frequent the park.

The park is also a major access point for kayakers, canoeists and inner tube float trip enthusiasts to the Rappahannock River portion of the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail. The Conservancy and Friends of the Rappahannock worked with the Parks and Recreation Department to create this key trail assess point.

David Burke, who works with the Conservancy on conservation and strategic planning and developed this project, accepted the award.

The launch will be dedicated next Spring.

Michael P. Ward, Division Manager of Parks & Athletics, served as the principal contact and liaison for this project and was an invaluable resource in moving the launch through to completion. The contractor on the project was Len Dameron of Dameron Marine Construction, LLC of Fredericksburg, Virginia. The design team included: Bayshore Design, LLC (Craig Palubinski-final design) and Scott Hardaway (VIMS-concept design); and Obsidian, Inc.-engineering analysis. Other partners who provided helpful technical expertise include Chris Stec, American Canoe Association, and Bill Micks, Rappahannock Outdoors.