Elkton Receives Funding for Downtown Park Tree Canopy and Outdoor Recreation Improvements

The Town of Elkton was awarded a $155,000 grant from the Virginia Outdoors Foundation for Phase II of the Downtown Marketplace project to improve greenspace. The funding focuses on improving downtown greenspace and tree canopy cover and providing outdoor recreation and engagement amenities such as pathways, sitting areas, a sensory play area, a pollinator garden, and a native tree identification path.

The CSPDC provided application assistance through the PDC’s Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP) program, which facilitates the implementation of tree planting and other best practices that enhance water quality in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

Virginia Breeze Bus Expands

The Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) will be expanding the Virginia Breeze bus lines with a new east-west route connecting Harrisonburg and Virginia Beach in 2025. The Tidewater Current will be the fifth Virginia Breeze route launched by DRPT, which has seen great success with its other four routes that operate north-south bi-directional service 365 days a year. The Virginia Breeze links rural and urban communities across the Commonwealth.

The Tidewater Current will include potential stops in Harrisonburg, Charlottesville, Richmond, New Kent, Williamsburg, Newport News, Norfolk, and Virginia Beach. A one-way ride on the Tidewater Current is estimated to take less than seven hours, and ticket prices will be determined closer to the launch date.

Other Virginia Breeze routes include the Valley Flyer, Blacksburg to Washington, D.C.; the Capital Connector, Martinsville to Washington, D.C.; the Piedmont Express, Danville to Washington, D.C.; and the Highlands Rhythm, Bristol to Washington, D.C. For additional information on the Virginia Breeze, visit

Central Shenandoah Hazard Mitigation Plan (CSHMP) Steering Committee Meeting Scheduled

Over the past several weeks, CSPDC staff coordinated with local governments, regional authorities and service organizations, and other community stakeholders to identify and appoint personnel to the CSHMP Steering Committee. The Steering Committee members will provide their local knowledge to inform the plan’s development by prioritizing which threats and hazards to focus on, reviewing local mitigation strategies that address identified risks, encouraging public input (future survey), and facilitating the adoption of the FEMA-approved CSHMP by the 21 local jurisdictions served by the CSPDC.

The CSHMP identifies threats, hazards, and vulnerabilities within the CSPDC region. It also communicates locally developed mitigation strategies geared to make communities more resilient. Furthermore, having a FEMA-approved and locally adopted Hazard Mitigation Plan allows the area’s jurisdictions to apply for hazard mitigation grant funds.

The first meeting will be held Tuesday, July 16, 2024 from 10 AM to 12 PM at the Augusta Community Care building (conference rooms 1-3 on first floor) located at 64 Sports Medicine Drive in Fishersville. Additional meetings are planned for October 2024 and March 2025. Contact Senior Planner Steve Bolster at or (540) 885-5174 ext. 112 if seeking additional information.


Sunset Park Opens in Waynesboro

On June 4, 2024, Waynesboro celebrated the grand opening of Sunset Park, a 107-acre property offering two overlooks, a picnic shelter, restroom facilities, and extensive trails. Within its inaugural week, the park attracted over 4,000 vehicles.

“It’s my favorite place…,” said Jeff, a life-long resident of Waynesboro. “I’ve come here almost every day.”

A notable feature of the park is its transformation from a former landfill, with 17 acres capped in 2003. Nearly a decade after its closure, discussions began on converting the site into a park. The Community Design Assistance Center at Virginia Tech helped create a concept plan in 2017.

In 2022, City Council appropriated about $2.5 million toward Sunset Park. The majority of these funds came from State and Local Recovery Funds under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), supplemented by a Recreation Access Grant from the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT). Construction commenced in 2023.

Ongoing enhancements to the park include expansions to its trail network. The Shenandoah Valley Bicycle Coalition (SVBC) recently released a final trail plan featuring 4 miles of natural surface singletrack trails at Sunset Park. This plan was made possible through a Trails Accelerator Grant (TAG) in collaboration with the International Mountain Bicycling Association.

SAWMPO Begins Long Range Plan, Releasing Survey in August

The Staunton-Augusta-Waynesboro Metropolitan Planning Organization (SAWMPO) began updating the region’s Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) in May 2024. The plan evaluates the region’s future transportation needs over a 25-year period and focuses on identifying improvements that address safety and congestion issues for all modes of transportation.

The SAWMPO updates the plan every five years, and the process includes many opportunities for public input. Diverse and regionally representative public input is critical for developing effective transportation plans. Phase One of the 2050 LRTP update will open for public input in August 2024. It will focus on the community vision for the future of transportation in the SAWMPO region. The public and interested stakeholders can subscribe to LRTP updates at this link.