USA Volunteers Improve Trail Access in Va.

August 28, 2013


Volunteers from Richmond, Va., Local 666 joined members from the plumbers and pipefitters and the Virginia Building and Construction Trades Council on Aug. 21 to help create more accessible walkways for York River State Park visitors with mobility issues.


With large pine roots growing through the asphalt, the designated handicapped-accessible trail along the York River and through the native plant gardens was in desperate need of repair. Throughout August and September, union volunteers will remove the broken asphalt and replace it with concrete to make the popular trail accessible to all visitors.

The trail improvement effort at is part of the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance’s Boots on the Ground program, which brings together union members for conservation efforts. Adopt-A-Park focuses those efforts on renewing, rebuilding and restoring America’s valued parks.

“America’s more than 7,000 state and national parks receive more than a billion visits annually and are an intrinsic part of our country’s culture and legacy, but they’re continually faced with budget challenges and have a backlog of repair and maintenance projects,” said Fred Myers, who heads the USA, a union-dedicated outdoor organization committed to expanding and improving hunting and fishing access and wildlife habitat.“Through our Adopt-A-Park program, we’re uniting America’s union labor to ensure a bright future for our parks. We’re thrilled to begin our first project in Virginia.”

Myers credited State Parks Foundation and Virginia State Park Director Joe Elton for the successful partnership. “Our partnership with the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance is a great fit for Virginia State Parks.The proximity of AFL-CIO members makes York River State Park a great place to kick off these projects,” Elton said.

“As a day-use park, our nearly 30 miles of trails are an integral part of York River’s offerings,” said Russell Johnson, York River State Park manager. “It is rare to have a project like this one that enhances those offerings for all of our guests, no matter their physical capabilities.”