• Rotary Year: 2022-2023
  • Application Date: 6/30/2022
  • Club Name: Martinsville-Henry County
  • Project Name: Improving public access to J. Frank Wilson Park
  • Project Total Expenditures: $4,000.00
  • Grant Amount Requested: $2,000.00
  • Describe the Project, its location and its objectives: The Rotary Club of Martinsville & Henry County (RCMHC) will partner with the Dan River Basin Association (DRBA) to improve a public entrance to Martinsville’s J. Frank Wilson Park. The Oakdale Street pedestrian entrance is overgrown and in need of a physical clean-up, and the trail leading to the park’s main picnic pavilion and outdoor recreation ammenities is eroding and has many tree roots exposed creating trip hazards.

    The access is used with frequency as it is directly behind the Virginia Museum of Natural History which hosts classes and public field trips that utilize Wilson Park as an asset for instruction. The park also supports walking and biking trails, two picnic pavilions, basketball court, skate park, and playground that sees frequent public use. This project will improve safety on the pedestrian access trail, improve appearance, and will become a more welcoming resource for the community.

    This project supports Rotary’s cause of protecting the environment. By improving access and visibility, people will be more willing to engage nature, and this engagement will enhance their desire to protect nature. Furthermore, accessing green spaces has been shown to increase ‘happiness quotients’ in populations. These spaces are cooler in the summer, support a diversity of life, and add quality no-cost outdoor experiences for citizens. Furthermore, our proposed project will eliminate erosion issues plaguing this entryway, eliminating a non-point source of pollution impacting our watershed.

    Our objectives are to a) provide a welcoming entrance announcing this is a quality experience for our citizens, b) improve the safety of the trail, c) provide educational interpretive signage pertinent to life in the park, and d) eliminate an erosion source within Wilson Park.

    The Park is used by natural history museum students and patrons, Martinsville residents, those using the picnic pavilions for meetings and events.
  • This is the Club’s: Primary Project Application
  • Expected Start Date: 9/3/2022
  • Expected End Date: 11/30/2022
  • Expected Number of Beneficiaries: 500
  • Describe how the project will benefit the community and/or improve the lives of the less fortunate: J. Frank Wilson Park is a free service to local residents. Walking, biking, playground activity, picnicking, skateboarding, and other outdoor activities are supported. The proposed improvement will do the following:

    a) Create a more welcoming space, and advertise that Wilson Park is a quality experience that should be engaged.
    b) Create a point of pride within the City with an attractive point of entry.
    c) Educate citizens with outdoor interpretation about the value of using native plantings which require less care.

    Furthermore, the current trail is eroding, sending clay and topsoil into Wilson Park Creek. This is a current non-point source of pollution for our watershed. This Creek eventually impacts the Smith River. The use of planters, proper grading, and

  • Estimated Total Project Volunteer Hours: 120
  • Describe the Rotarian hands-on activities in the project (i.e. non-financial participation): Matching funds will be used to create a welcoming entry point with professional signage. To facilitate this, Rotarians will work to improve the landscaping by trimming back vegetation and therefore opening up this point of access. Planters will be used adjacent to the existing concrete stairs, which will not only beautify the passage, but will act as a soil stabilization feature. All additions will utilize treated lumber and the sign will be an all-weather feature.

    The trail will require a combination of light grading work and addition of gravel to stabilize the soil while leveling out the footpath. The distance from the bottom of the existing stairs to the pavement adjacent to the main picnic pavilion is approximately 150 feet.

    A local contractor will be hired to do the grading work and transport gravel. Rotarians will have volunteer hours associated with the spreading of the gravel along the trail, and adding topsoil and native plantings to the planter boxes. Trimming back the existing vegetation with hand tools will also be performed by Rotarians, and upkeep will provide future volunteer work for the Club.

    Work will begin in late summer, continuing into the Fall of 2022.
  • Describe the publicity plan to inform the general public that this is a Rotary sponsored project: Local media will be engaged to attend a ribbon cutting to be attended by the RCMHC members, DRBA staff, and community leaders to build goodwill and better friendships. RCMHC will use its social media to post pictures of Rotarians in action, and share these with DRBA.

    The City of Martinsville will be asked to update their social media and web site as well to reflect the park improvements. The Virginia Museum of Natural History will also be a partner in community outreach regarding Rotary’s work on economic and community development.

    This project will complement the past and current work on the Dick and Willie Trail, spanning 11 miles through the heart of Martinsville.
  • Cooperating Organizations – Please list each cooperating organization, if any: Dan River Basin Association
  • Letter(s) of Participation: LOS_DRBA_FrankWilson_Rotary_62822.pdf
  • Project Expenditure Budget – list detail uses of funds for the project, or use the Budget UploadCategories of expenditure and effort

    topsoil and mulch
    gravel purchase and transport
    excavator time
    sign design and fieldwork

    These 5 categories of supplies and effort will encompass the proposed project. Top soil, mulch, and plantings will be applied to the planters lining the steps, installed by DRBA in 2022. They are of durable, treated lumber design. Gravel purchase and transport will provide the materials that will stop the erosion that is coming from the earthen trail, creating a non-point source pollution issue for Wilson Park Creek which ultimately flows to the Smith River. The excavator contracted will position piles of gravel for Rotarians to spread, and will lightly grade portions of the trail to eliminate trip hazards currently plaguing this entryway into the Park.
  • Project Funding Budget – list detail sources of funds for the project, or use the Budget Upload$2,000 will be provided by the Rotary Club, and we request $2,000 in matching funds from District 7570.

    NB: $3,000 in-kind is provided by our partner the Dan River Basin Association.

    This includes staff time, nature interpretation signage, and supplies already applied to the entrance which this project will expand on and complement.
  • Budget Upload:Budget_for_Wilson_Park_2022.xls
  • Primary Contact Name: Joe Keiper
  • Primary Contact Rotary Position: President
  • Primary Contact Email: joe.keiper@vmnh.virginia.gov
  • Primary Contact Phone: 276-634-4150
  • Financial Contact Name: David Price
  • Financial Contact Rotary Position: Treasurer
  • Financial Contact Address: 
    PO Box 3405
    Martinsville, VA 24115
    United States View on Map
  • Financial Contact Email: david@pricewholesalelighting.com
  • Financial Contact Phone: 276-340-8424
  • District Grant Project Authorization LetterMartinsville_Henry_County_Project_Authoirzation.pdf
  • Grant Number: 2022-08
  • Grant Award: $2,000.00