In conjunction with Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge, the City of Virginia Beach has been selected by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to receive a $449,000 planning grant. These funds will be used to evaluate alternative solutions and transportation modes to bring visitors to the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge, including providing trams from populated areas of the city to the refuge, construction of a shared-use path for biking and walking, development of canoe-kayak facilities and other alternatives.
The City of Virginia Beach Department of Parks and Recreation will manage the grant. Parks and Recreation Director Michael J. Kalvort said, “Virginia Beach Parks and Recreation is excited to receive the FTA planning grant. The monies will allow our residents and visitors more access to one of our cherished amenities, the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge. A goal of our department is to help the community experience nature and all the wonders which the Refuge provides, and this grant will allow even more opportunities.”
The money is provided by the FTA’s Paul S. Sarbanes Transit in Parks program, designed to fund projects that will provide safe, convenient access for visitors to America’s national parks, forests and wildlife refuges, and modernize aging transportation infrastructure.
According to Acting Refuge Manager Kathryn Owens, "The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is pleased to have partnered on this grant project that will develop a comprehensive alternative transportation plan to enhance environmentally-friendly visitor access to Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge and False Cape State Park."
Administered by the FTA in partnership with the Department of the Interior and the U.S. Forest Service, the Transit in Parks program funds capital and planning expenses for alternative transportation systems, such as shuttle buses and bicycle trails, in national parks and public lands. The goals of the program are to conserve natural, historical and cultural resources, and reduce congestion and pollution. FTA’s Paul S. Sarbanes Transit in Parks program was established by Congress to enhance the protection of national parks and federal lands and increase the enjoyment of those visiting them.
Virginia Beach Parks and Recreation’s vision is a balanced, sustainable and value-focused system of parks, recreation and public spaces that creates a sense of community. We are accredited by CAPRA, the certifying agency of the National Recreation and Park Association. For more information, call (757) 385-1100 (TTY: 711 Virginia Relay), visit VBgov.com/parks or sign up our email newsletters at VBgov.com/eNews.