Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Kayak Launch Project Receives Additional $148K in Grant Funding

14 November 2023


The Alexandria-based organization will establish the DC metro area’s first fully-accessible public access launch point to the Potomac River

Alexandria, VA — The Four Mile Run Conservatory Foundation, an organization committed to promoting nature, culture, and community at lower Four Mile Run in Northern Virginia, has been awarded two grants totaling $147,900 toward construction of a public water access point meeting the standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), suitable for launching kayaks, canoes, and other human-powered watercraft, at the tidal portion of Four Mile Run, a Potomac River tributary. The launch will become part of the City of Alexandria’s 49-acre Four Mile Run Park, and it will be the first of its kind in the DC metro area, featuring a raised boardwalk ramp and gangway with ADA-compliant slopes, a wheelchair transfer platform, and a roller water entry/exit ramp, providing increased safety while launching and landing, particularly helpful for unassisted or novice paddlers.

The recent awards are through the National Park Service Chesapeake Gateways Office and the Chesapeake WILD program of the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF). Together, the two grant awards bring the total funding raised toward the project to $482,714, approaching the overall fundraising goal of $500,000.

“In providing free public access to Four Mile Run and the Potomac, the project will provide residents and visitors an outstanding opportunity for healthy recreation,” said Kurt Moser, president of the Four Mile Run Conservatory Foundation. “We are pleased to receive these grant awards to enable more frequent and more equitable access to nearby nature and the upper reaches of the nation’s largest estuary, the Chesapeake Bay.”
The National Park Service Chesapeake Gateways Office offers competitive grant opportunities to advance the Chesapeake Bay Initiative Act of 1998 within the full 41-million-acre Chesapeake Bay watershed. Chesapeake Gateways grants bring out familiar, untold, under-appreciated, or yet to be uncovered narratives and promote resilient communities and landscapes through tourism, sustainability, conservation, and local economies throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

The Chesapeake WILD program was established to support collaborative conservation in the watershed and provide grant funding for community-driven projects that align with five interrelated focal areas for sustaining the health of the watershed and its inhabitants into the future: conserving and restoring imperiled fish and wildlife habitats; enhancing climate resilience and readiness; building community partnerships and conservation capacity, including in vulnerable communities; increasing equitable public access for recreation and human connections with nature; and improving water quality. The US Fish and Wildlife Service partners with NFWF to deliver the Chesapeake WILD grant program as part of the foundation’s broader Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund, a portfolio of competitive grant programs helping to restore and protect the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

Additional information on the project, including current project status and documentation of environmental impacts, is available at www.fourmilerun.org/p/kayak-launch-project.html

About the Four Mile Run Conservatory Foundation

The Four Mile Run Conservatory Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation and volunteer organization formed in 2016, with a mission to promote nature, culture, and community at lower Four Mile Run through restoration, advocacy, recreation, and education. Each year, hundreds of volunteers participate in land- and kayak-based litter clean-ups, native tree/shrub planting, invasive species removal, community science, and outdoor learning and exploration programs for youth. Visit at www.fourmilerun.org, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/4MRconservatory, and on Instagram @4MRconservatory.

About the National Park Service Chesapeake Gateways

Established by Congress in 1998, NPS Chesapeake Gateways is a partnership network and community assistance program. Headquartered in Annapolis, Maryland, the office serves the full 41-million-acre Chesapeake Bay watershed, providing authentic Chesapeake experiences for 21st Century communities and visitors.

About the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation

Chartered by Congress in 1984, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation protects and restores the nation’s fish, wildlife, plants and habitats. Working with federal, corporate and individual partners, NFWF has funded more than 6,000 organizations and generated a total conservation impact of $8.1 billion.