April 14, 2022
CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, VA — The North Courthouse Library Connector Trail was among 13 winners announced recently by Governor Glenn Youngkin as recipients of the 2022 Governor’s Environmental Excellence Awards.
Announced on March 29, 2022 at the Environment Virginia Symposium, the awards recognize the significant contributions of environmental and conservation leaders in four categories: sustainability, environmental project, greening of government, and implementation of the Virginia Outdoors Plan. The awards, which are sponsored by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, are given to businesses and industrial facilities, not-for-profit organizations and government agencies.
The North Courthouse Library Connector Trail was funded and constructed by Chesterfield County’s Transportation Department in collaboration with three other county departments, the first project delivered using the county’s Community Connectivity Sidewalk Funding. It connects the 1,900-home Briarcliff subdivision with the North Courthouse Public Library and Fire Station.
Completed in Spring 2020, the paved trail is a third of a mile long and has already seen significant use by families as well as fire fighters and library visitors.
There are two recreational areas located along the walking and bicycle trail that have playground and exercise equipment, which provides additional recreational opportunities for the community. The library also utilizes the trail for educational purposes, with featured books displayed along the trail page by page.
Following a compliance review by the Army Corps of Engineers, county staff rerouted the trail to ensure that its path did not negatively impact sensitive wetlands and trees felled in construction were repurposed for mulch in the exercise areas. In addition to Transportation, staff from Parks and Recreation as well as Libraries worked to make this project a reality.
Chesterfield County’s Comprehensive Plan includes increasing trails as a way to promote healthy lifestyles. The success of this first library-to-neighborhood trail provides a framework for several other libraries that have been identified as future locations to connect residents to existing public facilities.