In an announcement today at Explore Park, Virginia Recreational Facilities Authority (VRFA) Chairman Kelvin C. Bratton detailed an agreement in principle that would establish a 99-year lease of Explore Park to Roanoke County. The park would be administered by Roanoke County’s Parks, Recreation and Tourism department, with the long-term goal of creating a regional adventure park.
“The VRFA's goal has been to meet the mission of Explore Park,” says Bratton. “Our pending agreement with Roanoke County will preserve what we have created, and evolve the many opportunities we have cultivated throughout our 27 years in existence. This is a time for great enthusiasm and anticipation.”
Explore Park would be added to the County’s current inventory of recreation facilities, providing both passive and active recreation opportunities, as well as future economic development possibilities through public-private partnerships. Among the possible uses the County is considering for the park are special events, family outreach programs, pavilion rentals, RV camping, rental cabins and outdoor adventure attractions.
Roanoke County Board of Supervisors Chairman Michael W. Altizer said he believes that this partnership is the right fit at the right time for Explore Park. He spoke to the stability and unique resources that Roanoke County brings to the table, with a history of successful recreation management projects. Chairman Altizer is excited about the opportunity to better serve the recreation needs of Roanoke County citizens, while creating new economic development opportunities for the entire area.
The Roanoke County Board of Supervisors is scheduled to take up the lease agreement at board meetings on September 10 and September 24, with a public hearing on the 24th. The public is also encouraged to attend a community meeting about the proposal on Thursday, September 19 at 6:00 P.M. at the Explore Park Visitor’s Center. Roanoke County officials will be on hand at this meeting to present further details and answer citizen questions.