Friends of the Lower Appomattox River (FOLAR)

What is Friends of the Lower Appomattox River?

Friends of the Lower Appomattox River (FOLAR) is a non-profit citizen organization formed as a result of the Appomattox River Corridor Plan, sponsored by the Crater Planning District Commission in June 1999. The Board of Directors is composed of 13 representatives, appointed by the six jurisdictions that adjoin the Lower Appomattox River and Virginia State University. FOLAR represents community leaders and citizens interested in promoting and enhancing the Appomattox River. The organization partners with the Crater Planning District Commission on special projects.

Board of Directors, 2019-2020

Why is the Appomattox River so important?

The Appomattox River is a major tributary of the James River. It flows in an easterly direction across the Piedmont and Coastal Plain of south central Virginia between Appomattox Courthouse and its confluence with the James River in Hopewell. The lower portion of the river meanders through six jurisdictions: the Counties of Chesterfield, Dinwiddie and Prince George, and the Cities of Colonial Heights, Hopewell and Petersburg; and is a valuable resource for commerce, industry, farming and recreation.

The Lower Appomattox is part of the Atlantic Flyway and the Coastal Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail. The Appomattox also provides nesting, feeding and stop-over grounds for migrating birds and waterfowl. Wildlife that inhabits the river corridor of the Lower Appomattox include beavers, muskrats and deer as well as song birds, herons, wood ducks and eagles.

What Does Friends of Lower Appomattox River Do?

To protect the river and promote its scenic natural beauty and historical and cultural attributes by:

  • Developing a Regional Greenway/ Blueway
  • Monitoring water quality
  • Organizing river cleanup campaigns
  • Promoting river stewardship and education
  • Promoting tourism and economic development

In 2016 FOLAR hired Land Planning and Design Associates (LPDA) to design a trail system master plan for the Lower Appomattox River corridor between Lake Chesdin and City Point. In conjunction with trail system planning, FOLAR contracted the design services of AB Design to plan and develop a comprehensive trail signage system. The end results can be seen here:

How Can I Become Involved?

  • Enjoy the Lower Appomattox riverfront resources
  • Attend events sponsored or co-sponsored by FOLAR
  • Volunteer to help FOLAR with cleanups, water quality monitoring, greenways projects
  • Join FOLAR. Membership is open to students, individuals, families, businesses, corporations, civic organizations and other organizations


Wendy Austin, Executive Director

(804) 543-0325

Heather Barrar, Regional Trails Program Director

(804) 512-4486

CraterPDC Contact

Jay Ruffa, Director of Planning & GIS

(804) 861-1666



Monument Professional Building
1964 Wakefield St., P.O. Box 1808
Petersburg, Virginia 23805

Visit FOLAR's Website or Follow on Social Media

Facebook Twitter Instagram