Creating a community park takes quite a bit of planning, which is why the historic railroad town of Remington is about to receive support for adding recreational space for its residents and visitors.
Situated on a scenic natural crossing of the Rappahannock River, Remington has an abundance of character and contains elements of a walkable community, including a compact street grid. But the town has few common areas for recreation and no official public access to the river.
Remington is also where some of the most pivotal battles of the Civil War were fought, including the 1862 and 1863 Battles of Rappahannock Station. In 2006, PEC and Fauquier County raised funds to conserve 26 acres of land along the Rappahannock River, where some of the most significant Civil War action occurred. We’re now collaborating with the County and other partners to make this area a park.
The PATH Foundation has awarded us a $64,336 grant to help improve walking, bicycling and trail connections in Remington and increase opportunities for healthy physical activity. The grant will fund efforts to develop plans for a Rappahannock Station Battlefield Park and river access.
The town has seen several positive changes recently such as The Remington Freight Depot moving to its new home as the future Railroad Museum, and there are several new downtown businesses and a successful community garden. Remington also received a grant to implement a Safe Routes to School project, which allows the neighborhood elementary school to be accessed by sidewalks.
Map by Watsun Randolph, PEC
“Some very active citizens and groups have already implemented complex community projects in the town,” explains Julie Bolthouse, Fauquier County land use officer at PEC. “Our goal is to build on the existing momentum and develop a detailed park system plan, which will include a network of trails.” In the coming months, there will be a series of outreach events to determine what types of parks, trails and river access points would be the most desirable to residents.
“We hope this funding will help spur progress on the public access front,” says Bolthouse. “Currently, there are no County funds committed to implementing the Rappahannock Station Park, but this grant will provide some initial funding for establishing a trail and creating public access onto the battlefield property.” Bolthouse further explains, “Additional funds will be needed from the County to make these plans happen.” PEC will work with a wide range of partners including Fauquier County Parks and Recreation, Town of Remington, Fauquier County Board of Supervisors, Remington Community Partnership, Fauquier County Department of Economic Development, Southern Fauquier Business Owners Association, Fauquier Trails Coalition, Remington Community Garden and Friends of the Rappahannock to build a plan for the town’s recreational options.
“This is perfect for what’s currently happening in Remington,” says John Waldeck, coordinator of the Remington Community Garden. “Opening resources up and allowing trails to connect us with the Rappahannock River and battlefield would build upon the promotion of Remington’s beauty, and it would show all of Fauquier County and visitors how special this place is.” Director of membership at PEC and long-time southern Fauquier resident Karen Hunsberger-Adam added, “The revitalization of Remington is well on its way. This grant will help to not only bring Fauquier residents to Remington for water activities, but also bring them into town to eat at the Remington Deli, to visit the hardware store or get ice cream at the Pharmacy.”
We hope to select a community planning consultant and start community meetings at the beginning of the new year. Community planning efforts are estimated for completion by end of summer 2017.
This article was featured in our Fall 2016 Member Newsletter, The Piedmont View.