AMHERST COUNTY, Va. – Rob Campbell is with the James River Association (JRA) and said its goal is to get more people out on the river.
“Getting out on it at a young age, even if you don’t get out on it until you’re 40 years old, spending time out on the river is really what gets you drawn near to it,” said Campbell.
Now more people can be drawn to it. The JRA and Amherst County leaders held a groundbreaking Thursday for a new boat launch, floating dock and trail at Riveredge Park.
Campbell said the project costs $95,000.
The existing ramp sits below rapids, making it difficult to access a half-mile stretch near Scots Mill Dam.
“It’s very hard to attain up that rapid and get to the next level. So, that’s what this access point is here for,” said Campbell.
The existing ramp will remain, while the new one will sit above the rapids and be accessible to people with disabilities.
“This will be one of the only boat ramps of the entire James [River] that actually has handicap access, certainly one of the only ones in this area that does,” said Campbell.
The JRA expects to have it complete either in late 2021 or early 2022.
“Many more people can connect to the river, experience it, develop a love for it and support its protection going forward,” said Bill Street, chief executive officer of the JRA.
It’s all part of a $500,000 project.
Leaders are still fundraising for the next phase, which includes an aquarium and outdoor classroom at Riveredge Park.