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Trails Construction Underway at the MSV

Final Phase of the Trails at the MSV Project Now Under Construction
90-acre Free-Admission Art Park Slated to Open This Fall

Winchester, VA 03/24/20…Construction of nearly two miles of trails for walking, running, and bicycling is now underway at the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley. 

This construction marks the final phase of The Trails at the MSV project. When complete, The Trails at the MSV will open 90 acres of the MSV landscape as a free-admission art park that is open on a year-round basis. Along with more than three miles of trails traversing through fields, woods, and wetlands, the park will include outdoor art installations. 

According to MSV Executive Director and CEO Dana Hand Evans, The Trails at the MSV will open this fall. “If construction goes as scheduled,” says Evans, “we plan on opening around Thanksgiving.” Evans notes that Perry Engineering Company, Inc. of Winchester began trails construction on March 13.  

“We wanted to share the news about the progress being made on the trails in the hopes that it will give our community something to look forward to,” Evans remarked. Along with many other businesses and organizations, the MSV is temporarily closed to the public in order to help alleviate the spread of COVID-19.

A $9 million project that has been funded by more than 1,000 donations and grants from several foundations, including the Glass–Glen Burnie Foundation, The Trails at the MSV will include 1.9 miles of paved trails and more than a mile of rustic mulch and turf trails. MSV gardens and grounds staff will install the rustic trails over the next six to twelve months.

The construction of the paved, ADA-accessible trails is funded through a partnership between the City of Winchester, the Museum, and the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT). VDOT is providing $1.38 million in program funds for the project. The eight-foot-wide paved trails will connect to the city of Winchester’s Green Circle. Upon the park’s opening, the MSV trail will be accessible from pedestrian entrances at the end of Jefferson Street and at both ends of the MSV property on Amherst Street. A pedestrian entrance near the old John Kerr Elementary School is planned for the future (see a trails map here)

The construction of the trails marks the final phase of the park’s development. Over the past 24 months, a new MSV entrance and entrance road were built, environmentally friendly parking lots were constructed, a new entrance sign was designed and installed, more than a mile of farm fencing was added, an existing twentieth-century silo was renovated to house art installations, and several landscape features for The Trails at the MSV have been built, including an overlook and a standing stone circle.

Evans hopes to be able to open the new driving entrance to the MSV in June. As the trails and new entrance are in an active construction zone, neither is currently open to the public.

To date, trails construction has included grading for the trails in the open pasture and clearing a route that will wind through woods on the MSV property. The most complex part of the current construction—the building of a floating boardwalk on the MSV wetlands—is slated to take place this summer. Trex has donated decking for the floating boardwalk as well as for two bridges that will be on the trails.

Those interested in seeing a map of the trails, learning more about the project, or donating to The Trails at the MSV may visit www.theMSV.org/trails. The MSV is currently seeking donations to fund trails landscaping and maintenance (donate here).

A regional cultural center, the MSV is located at 901 Amherst Street in Winchester, Virginia. At 214 acres, the site is the largest green space in the city of Winchester and the only working farm that remains in city limits. Details are available at www.theMSV.org–END–

 

Release Date: March 24, 2020

Contact: Julie B. Armel, 540- 662-1473, ext. 225, [email protected]

 


Funding for the Trails Could be Achieved by Year's End
Community Response Needed Now to Leverage
Newly Received Grant from The Cabell Foundation

UPDATE: Thanks to generous community support, the funding goal for construction of The Trails at the MSV has been reached! Donations received above the cost of construction will fund landscaping and maintenance of The Trails at the MSV. Donate Here.

Winchester, VA 11/23/2018 . . . Museum of the Shenandoah Valley (MSV) Executive Director Dana Hand Evans today announced that a challenge grant received from The Cabell Foundation of Richmond means the MSV could achieve its fundraising goal for The Trails at the MSV if the community donates $182,000 by December 31 of this year.

Combined with an existing matching grant from the Glass–Glen Burnie Foundation, The Cabell Foundation grant means that every dollar donated for the project through year’s end is matched at a rate of three to one.  

“This is an amazing opportunity, and community response is critical now if we are to achieve it,” says Evans, who explains that because the deadline for matching funds from the Glass–Glen Burnie Foundation is December 31, failure to raise the needed remaining $182,000 by that time forfeits the three-to-one matching opportunity.

With a total project goal now up to $9 million—due to rising construction costs over the past year and a required expansion of the storm water management system to accommodate future improvements to the entire MSV site—these matching grants effectively mean the MSV has had to raise less than half the project cost from other sources, including individual donors, businesses, and state and private grants. Now, says Director Evans, these matching grants provide the community with an unprecedented chance to leverage its contributions and achieve what will be the largest art park in the state of Virginia.

The Trails at the MSV project will open 90 acres of the 214-acre MSV landscape to the public as a free-admission park with more than 3 miles of trails for walking, hiking, and biking. Traversing through fields, woods, and wetlands, the trails will be accentuated with outdoor art installations. The project preserves more than 80 acres of the MSV landscape—the largest green space in the City of Winchester—as farm fields where cows will continue to graze. 

Along with providing trails available on a year-round basis, the project includes a new Amherst Street entrance and access road into the MSV site, new environmentally friendly parking lots at the trailhead and in front of the museum building, a new storm water management system for the site, and scenic overlooks.

The Trails at the MSV, on which construction of funded portions has already begun, will connect to the City of Winchester’s Green Circle and be accessible from pedestrian entrances near the Old John Kerr School (future Winchester Public School Innovation Center), at the end of Jefferson Street, and at the northeastern corner of the MSV property on Amherst Street (near the Wellspring building).

Those interested in donating to the project may do so at www.theMSV.org/Trails. To encourage community participation, the MSV is launching a “Trailsgiving” promotion. From November 26 through December 31, one donor from the previous week will be drawn to win a tote bag emblazoned with the trails logo and including a refillable trails water bottle and a thermal trails wine glass. Winners will be announced on social media and contacted by the MSV.

Additional information about The Trails at the MSV, including a site map and a list of frequently asked questions, is also available online at www.theMSV.org/Trails.

A regional cultural center that attracts nearly 72,000 visitors yearly and has more than 2,100 members, the MSV is located at 901 Amherst Street in Winchester, Virginia. The MSV includes galleries, the Glen Burnie House, and seven acres of gardens; in Fiscal Year 2017–18, the Museum presented 335 programs that engaged 23,559 people of all ages. The galleries and exhibitions are open year-round; the house and gardens are open April through December.–END–

 

Release Date: November 23, 2018

Contact: Julie B. Armel, 540- 662-1473, ext. 225, [email protected]

 

 


MSV Begins Construction to Transform 90 Acres into Free-admission Park with Three Miles of Trails;
Final Fundraising Phase Seeks to Raise $1.1 Million

All Are Invited to Free Community Update Session on April 23; Wide Range of Information Also Now Available at www.themsv.org/Trails

Winchester, VA, 4/20/2018 . . . At a groundbreaking ceremony today, Museum of the Shenandoah Valley (MSV) Executive Director Dana Hand Evans will announce that construction of a much-anticipated project, The Trails at the MSV, is beginning.

In addition, Evans will announce, the final push to raise $1.1 million to complete the project is underway with the launch of a new website, www.themsv.org/Trails. The new site will allow people to sign up for free tours of the future trails (June 6 and July 7), ask questions about the project, get the latest project news, see a map of the trails and concept images of its highlights, and make the project happen by donating online.

Today’s announcement follows that of four years ago when Director Evans unveiled the MSV plan to open 90 acres of its 214-acre landscape as a free-admission park open year-round. The park will include more than three miles of trails for walking, running, and biking. Traversing through fields, woods, and wetlands, the trails will be accentuated with outdoor art installations. The project preserves more than 80 acres of the MSV landscape—the largest green space in the City of Winchester—as farm fields where cows will continue to graze.  

Since the initial announcement of The Trails at the MSV, says Director Evans, $5 million has been raised toward the total project cost of $7.2 million, leaving a gap of $2.2 million. Evans notes that thanks to a grant from the Glass–Glen Burnie Foundation, which matches every dollar donated, only $1.1 million is now needed to make The Trails at the MSV a reality. Today Evans will ask the community to join the effort to build and open The Trails in 2019 by donating to the project at www.themsv.org/Trails.

Along with providing trails, the project that gets underway today includes a new Amherst Street entrance and access road into the MSV site, new parking lots at the trailhead and in front of the museum building, and scenic overlooks. The Trails at the MSV will connect to the City of Winchester’s Green Circle and be accessible from pedestrian entrances near the Old John Kerr School (future Winchester Public School Innovation Center), at the end of Jefferson Street, and at the northeastern corner of the MSV property on Amherst Street (near the Wellspring building).

Among those who are expected to be on hand to celebrate today’s groundbreaking are the first and most recent donors to the trails project.  Special guests will include, Rupert Werner, who along with his late wife Kathryn Perry Werner, made the first gift to the project to fund the new scenic entrance road that will wind through pastures to the Museum. Members of The Little Garden Club of Winchester, which just this week presented a donation of $20 thousand to the MSV to install a wildflower garden at the new Amherst Street entrance, will also be in attendance. Officials from The City of Winchester also are anticipated to attend today’s groundbreaking and celebrate funding totaling $1,383,887 from Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) programs, which resulted from the city’s partnership with the MSV.  

Today’s groundbreaking ceremony will conclude with Director Evans’s invitation to all who are interested to attend a Community Update Session at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, April 23, to learn more about The Trails at the MSV. Admission is free, but due to space limitations, those interested in attending are encouraged to register at www.theMSV.org or by calling 540-662-1473, ext. 240. Evans will also encourage those interested in The Trails at the MSV to access the wide variety of information available about the project at www.themsv.org/Trails and to join others around the community who are helping make this new park happen with their financial contributions.  According to Evans, gifts of any amount are welcomed and will make a difference.

A regional cultural center that attracts nearly 65,000 visitors yearly and has 1,700 members, the MSV is located at 901 Amherst Street in Winchester, Virginia. The MSV includes galleries, the Glen Burnie House, and seven acres of gardens; in Fiscal Year 2016–17, the Museum presented 335 programs that engaged more than 27,000 people of all ages. The galleries and exhibitions are open year-round; the house and gardens are open April through December.–END–

Release Date: April 20, 2018

Contact: Julie B. Armel, 540- 662-1473, ext. 225, [email protected]