Clifton Forge Main Street has received a $20,000 grant from the Alleghany Foundation to install lights on the Clifton Forge Sensory Trail and Smith Creek. Seven hundred feet of the 1,315 Smith Creek Trail will be illuminated throughout the winter months.
The Town of Clifton Forge has also contributed funding to the project in order to complete this year’s goals for lighting the Trail. Clifton Forge Public Works will install the lights and a “Light the Creek” celebration is planned for Saturday, December 9, at 6:00 p.m. at the Sensory Trail, after Iron Gate’s Christmas Parade. The celebration will include music, hot chocolate and displays.
The Sensory Trail was opened in the spring of 2023 and incorporates all seven senses of vision, hearing, smell, taste, touch, balance and body awareness. Sensory trails meet the needs of children and adults with disabilities, and enhance awareness for people of all ages. The trail is currently open from dawn to dusk and lighting the trail will allow it to be open longer in the winter months.
“Lighting the Creek” will extend the natural walking paths from downtown Clifton Forge to the Amphitheatre Bridge, past the LOVE Sculpture and the Amphitheatre Park, to the Clifton Forge School of the Arts lighted gardens to the Smith Creek Trail and the Sensory Trail.
The illumination of the trail will use organic components that currently exist on the trail, and will use the lighting to elevate the natural elements that are already in place.
Jenny Oeltjen, Clifton Forge Main Street President said, “We are incredibly grateful to the Alleghany Foundation for approving this grant. Some mornings can start out slow, but one phone call can change everything. When we received the call from the Foundation that the grant was approved, we felt that a dream for the Town and the Trails had come true. Illuminating the Sensory Trail will light up the faces of our residents and visitors. Main Street is so very thankful for everyone who is a part of this project.”
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