Saturday, December 2, 2023

City of Williamsburg Asks for Input on African American Heritage Trail

WILLIAMSBURG — The City of Williamsburg is hosting a community input session for content on the planned African American Heritage Trail.

The session will be held on Saturday, March 4 at 10:30 a.m. at the Quarterpath Recreation Center, 202 Quarterpath Road.

At the meeting, participants will be asked to identify stories and sites they would like to highlight on the trail, which aims to tell the full story of the city’s racial history. In addition to the sites along the trail, a digital component will enable stories outside of the trail’s path to be told.

In January 2023, the federal government passed legislation that includes $357,000 for Phase 1 of the project, which includes the construction of the trailhead at Lafayette Street, a public restroom, and the first segment of the trail from Lafayette Street to Scotland Street.

As part of the federal funding application, city staff engineered a nearly two-mile, walkable path in the downtown Williamsburg area.

Since 2020, the African American Heritage Trail has been included in the city’s Goals,
Initiatives, and Outcomes (GIOs), a document that outlines the two-year workplan for
the city.

The goals for 2023-24 are to convene members of the descendant community and other city residents to advise on the content; begin construction of Phase 1; and obtain funding for the remaining phases.

An African American Heritage Trail Advisory Committee — made up of members of the descendant community and representatives from the city, William & Mary, and Colonial Williamsburg Foundation — will review the public input and shape the content for the trail.

A virtual session will be scheduled at a later date.

Input can also be submitted through the city webpage.

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