By Matt de Simone
The Botetourt Community Partnership (BCP) met at the Fincastle Library last Friday morning. Upper James Program Director for the Valley Conservation Council Genevieve Goss welcomed partnership members and guests before introducing the meeting’s two guest speakers: Lynne Bolton of Historic Fincastle, Inc. and Fincastle Town Manager David Tickner.
The two speakers discussed Big Spring Park’s history and current revitalization. Bolton spoke about the spring’s “never-ending water source” and the migrating animals over the years who frequently visited the spring and the indigenous populations who utilized the water source for survival. She mentioned the spring being a factor in establishing Fincastle as the Botetourt County seat.
“We’ve got wonderful history and it’s really thanks to the Big Spring, I think, that we were here to make the history,” Bolton noted.
According to Bolton, the spring was a place where people would go to conduct business years ago. It was at the spring where the original marketplace in Fincastle developed. Water Street is wider than other streets in town due to being the location of the market in and around Big Spring Park.
Tickner gave a snapshot of the work gone into the town restoring and revitalizing the park. He brought with him an overlay of the park where the Big Spring Park orchard, pollinator garden, and outdoor classroom will be located.
“We’re just kind of getting started on it,” Tickner said of the park’s natural amenities. “The trail is getting a lot of use already. It is still a work in progress.”
The outdoor classroom is going to be located in a flat area of land next to Breckinridge Elementary. Tickner mentioned that it’s a priority that the trail is handicap accessible. There will be a closed gate separating that portion of the trail from the school during school hours.
To learn more about the Valley Conservation Council, visit www.valleyconservation.org.
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