Project Showcase: Rowe Environmental Park

New park connects schools with outdoor classroom

The Henry B. Rowe Environmental Park is another facet of the Ararat River Conservation, Restoration, and Parks Project in Mount Airy. The 2.5-miles of greenway along the river, with its three miles of stabilized and restored streambanks, connect two local schools with two parks. In between Riverside Park at one end and the elementary school at the other is the 18-acre park used by the students and the community for environmental education. "The park includes an outdoor classroom, a bridge to the middle school, restrooms, a water fountain, picnic areas, fishing area, landscaping, and nature trails into the wooded areas along the river," said Catrina Alexander, Director of Parks and Recreation. "There lessons await the inquisitive students. The environmental park extends and expands the classroom experience of our students to make their learning real and tangible."

ABOVE: Rowe Environmental Park on the river

RIGHT: Students can walk to the new park for nature classes.

"We are delighted to have the Rowe Environmental Park as part of the project," said Barbara Jones, City Manager. "The project as a whole goes to enhance the quality of life in Mount Airy. We are using our natural resources to improve the lives of our citizens and to attract employers and keep employers as part of our economic development." Pilot View RC&D, Inc. and the Resource Institute, Inc. partner in managing the  Ararat River project, including contracting for design, engineering, and construction.

ABOVE: New park includes rest rooms and a shelter.

RIGHT: A nature park invites exploration.