New Fifeville Trail Grand Opening and Community Block Party set for October 1

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA. (September 14, 2022) – On Saturday, Oct. 1, community leaders and residents of Charlottesville will celebrate the formal opening of the new Fifeville Trail with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 11:15 a.m., followed by a Community Block Party from 12 – 4 p.m. The ribbon cutting will be at Tonsler Park, 500 Cherry Avenue; the block party will be at the Shops at Cherry Avenue, 814-830 Cherry Avenue. 

A map of the Tonsler Trail connection.

The result of collaboration between many community groups and organizations, with leadership from the Fifeville Neighborhood Association, the Fifeville trail addresses “safety issues of neighborhood children getting to the park as parents are concerned with kids going down Cherry Avenue and 5th Street,” said Carmelita Wood, president of the Fifeville Neighborhood Association. The trail system, which is on private land owned by Woodard Properties but open to the public, makes it possible for neighborhood residents to reach the park, businesses along Cherry Avenue, and the heart of Charlottesville, without traveling on busy streets with fast-moving traffic. While the trail’s original purpose was to restore neighborhood connections, the trail is itself a space of nature and tranquility. ”People from the City of Charlottesville are excited that the neighborhood dug in and is doing something on its own. People are excited about it and I’m excited about it. I’ve already walked the trail quite a few times,” Wood said.

The Oct. 1 event will begin at the Tonsler Park recreation center (500 Cherry Ave, Charlottesville) at 11:15 a.m., when community leaders will ceremonially cut the ribbon to “open the trail.” At 11:30 a.m., they will lead community members on a guided trail walk with opportunities to meet some of the people who collaborated to make the trail a reality.

The walk will end at the Shops at Cherry Avenue (814-830 Cherry Avenue) where Woodard Properties will be hosting a free, family-friendly Community Block Party celebrating the residents, history and businesses of the Fifeville Community to benefit the Music Resource Center. The block party will feature a bounce house, local vendors, fun activities, music, treats, food trucks, games and giveaways.

The Fifeville Trail came about as the result of extensive community dialogue, with support from the Charlottesville Area Community Foundation. The trail is truly a community-led effort and the result of the work of many, with the following groups playing specific roles:

The Fifeville Neighborhood Association conceived the idea as part of the Cherry Avenue Small Area Plan. They have provided leadership and work throughout and have been the indispensable force behind the project.

Woodard Properties owns the underlying land and agreed to allow the trail, with the understanding that it would be long-term but that the precise alignment might be subject to change.

The Rivanna Trails Foundation provided technical assistance, holds the lease of easement for the trail and acts as fiscal sponsor for the Get Outdoors Grant.

The Piedmont Environmental Council also provided technical assistance, including program design, coordination and communications.

The Virginia Outdoors Foundation funded the construction of the trail through a nearly $25,000 grant from the Foundation’s Get Outdoors program.

The Charlottesville Area Community Foundation provided seed money for community engagement through its Heal Charlottesville Fund.

Charlottesville Parks and Recreation has supported the effort throughout, created a new entrance to Tonsler Park and has provided some in-kind support, such as mulch.

Learn more about the Fifeville Trail →


Contact

About the grand opening:
Peter Krebs, Piedmont Environmental Council Community Organizer
434-465-9869; pkrebs@pecva.org

About the trail:
Carmelita Wood, Fifeville Neighborhood Association President
434-202-9246

About the block party:
Tanashia Washington, Woodard Properties
434-971-8860; tanashia@woodardproperties.com


Since 1972, The Piedmont Environmental Council has proudly promoted and protected the natural resources, rural economy, history and beauty of the Virginia Piedmont. PEC empowers residents to protect what makes the Piedmont a wonderful place, and works with citizens to conserve land, improve air and water quality and build thriving communities. PEC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit and accredited land trust. Learn more at pecva.org.