Roanoke Meetings To Help Gather Input for Outdoors Plan

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Planners with the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation will hold two public meetings on March 8 in Roanoke to gather regional input for the 2013 Virginia Outdoors Plan.

Meetings will be at 3 and 7 p.m., at the Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission, 313 Luck Avenue SW in Roanoke (24016).  Residents are invited to share their ideas for outdoor recreation and land conservation needs. The following are matters relevant to the region:

·   Expansion of trails such as the Roanoke River Greenway, the James River Heritage Trail and the Great Eastern Trail

·  Increased water and trail access throughout the Roanoke River and James River Basins

·  Increased access on Johns Creek, Jackson River and Lake Moomaw

· Further development of locals parks along greenways and blueways

· Potential for state Scenic River designation for sections of the Roanoke and James Rivers and Johns and Craig Creeks

· Expansion of partnerships and collaborative efforts to connect the region’s natural, historic and recreational resources

The Virginia Outdoors Plan is the state’s comprehensive plan for meeting outdoor recreation, land conservation and open space needs. Established in 1965, the plan provides guidance for all levels of government and the private sector. In addition, it assists the state in prioritizing projects and allocating funds for outdoor recreation and land conservation. The plan was last updated in 2007.

“The Virginia Outdoors Plan serves as the guide for increasing and enhancing outdoor recreation opportunities for all Virginians, as well as our many visitors and tourists,” said Danette Poole, DCR’s director of planning and recreation resources. “We look forward to gathering feedback from communities across the state so that the upcoming plan continues to reflect the needs of citizens.”

The Roanoke meetings are part of a series of public input sessions scheduled statewide. Anyone who cannot attend a meeting may submit written comments. Email comments to Janit Llewellyn at [email protected] or write to: VOP Comments, Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, 203 Governor St., Suite 326, Richmond, VA 23219.

Residents can view the 2007 Virginia Outdoors Plan at: http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/recreational_planning/vop.shtml