An empty nine-acre clearing at the top of a Blacksburg neighborhood has been used as a park for years, and now it will remain that way.
In a ceremony Sunday afternoon, Montgomery County signed the deed to the property at the end of Shelor Lane known as “The Meadow” over to Blacksburg under the condition that it will remain a public park.
Appalachian Power gave the lot to the county in 2000 and there had been talk of possibly developing the site, but thanks to community members speaking out against such a move, the county agreed in December to let the area known remain a public space.
Dave Rhodes, who has mowed the park’s trails for the last 17 years, said he was very happy with the outcome.
“It’s been a wonderful resource. You’re literally on top of the mountain here. It’s a really cool space, he said. “I’m so glad that it has been preserved and as a public space no less.”
During his dedication speech, Board of Supervisors Chair Chris Tuck gave credit to Supervisor Annette Perkins (District A) for making sure the property in her district was preserved a remained available to use by the people who had grown to love it.
Perkins said that she was happy that after years of advocating to let “The Meadow” remain a park; it had finally come to fruition.
“The wheels of government really do grind slow sometimes,” Perkins joked. “Now I need a new knee, so I can up come up here and enjoy it as well.”
Juliet Ross, who has lived in the neighborhood for the last seven years, said that she frequents the park at least once a week to come enjoy the view and walk her dog.
“I’m absolutely thrilled. It is one of the few places that is beautiful all four seasons a year,” she said. “The Huckleberry Trail gets really busy, but up here I’m usually alone, so that’s nice.”
Ross also joked that it is nice to see the town and county agree on something.
“It’s amazing. They sometimes aren’t quick to come to agreement, but I’m glad they did here.”