Cleveland is a community of around 130 people located in Russell County in southwest Virginia. Through the Clinch River Valley Initiative, the community is hoping to utilize the natural assets of the Clinch River to promote tourism and draw people to the area. The community is in need of both economic as well as physical improvements. The Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (CHCD) is working with Cleveland on economic improvement strategies while CDAC is worked in concert to address particular physical improvements at the conceptual level. CDAC worked with the community, with assistance from DHCD, to develop designs for developing an RV park and campground at the former Cleveland Elementary School site, concepts for improving the existing park site, and to explore the possibility of creating a concept of linking the two sites with a river walk and possibly to downtown as well.
For the former Cleveland Elementary School site, CDAC worked with a stakeholders group and the community to develop a conceptual design for the reuse of the school site as an area for RV and tent camping. In addition to the site supporting the camping activities, it is envisioned that the site will also provide ecological learning opportunities and an access point for kayaking/canoeing. The concept design includes a river walk trail that links to the ball park and downtown.
CDAC also worked with the community to develop conceptual design for upgrading the ball park. Updates included:
- Adding sidewalks to the community center
- Designating the location for handicapped parking
- Adding a perimeter fitness trail
- Adding a new outdoor stage
- Adding a horseshoe pit in the old batting cage location
- Redoing the restrooms by the river access area (River access point design to be developed under a separate project/contract)
- Adding another picnic shelter
- Tree planting plan
Project design team: Jen Jessup, Harley Walker, and Milo Wan
Sponsor: Forest Competitive Grant, Virginia