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Committee Works to Turn Donated Land into Scottsville Park - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Committee Works to Turn Donated Land into Scottsville Park

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Van Clief Nature Area Van Clief Nature Area
ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va (WVIR) -

Scottsville is making plans to turn 63 acres of woods and waterways just a block off the town's main drag into a public park. Creating the vision for the Van Clief Nature Area starts now.

A committee started working on the project about two years ago, but Tuesday night, dozens of people who live in Scottsville and their neighbors showed up to help draw up plans for the Van Clief property.

Hannah Gritsko, who lives in Scottsville, said, "I would like to see it as a place that people can go and enjoy nature, exercise."

Susan Cable, who is helping plan the park, knows the lay of the land - a nature retreat tucked away just a block off Scottsville’s main drag.

“How many people really know that this place even exists?” said Cable.

The Van Clief family donated most of the 63-acre property to Scottsville in 1976. The town built a flood-control dam a year later.

“It does create this wonderful lake up behind and a trail that goes up along it,” said Cable.

Cable is working with the town to create a master plan to open the property as a public park.

“The more we worked on it, the more fun it got to be and the more complicated it got to be,” said Cable.

A picnic area, trails, and handicapped-accessible boardwalks are in development. The town is partnering with the James River Association to link the park to a statewide network of nature and history sites along the waterway.

“We see this as an opportunity to develop what is here right now for the residents of the town, for people who want to come and visit us, but also for future generations,” said Gritsko.

Cable encourages her neighbors to get involved in drawing up the plans and to turn the untapped resource into an asset for Scottsville.

“It's a really wonderful both natural resource and heritage resource too,” said Cable.

The town already earned a $38,000 state grant to build a bridge and boardwalk to provide public access over Mink Creek.

All of Tuesday night's comments will be taken into consideration in the development of the master plan for the park. If you missed the meeting, you can share your ideas by contacting town staff here.

The town is asking for volunteers to start clearing the trails Saturday morning.

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