Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Town of Abingdon Facilities Closures and Services Update 5-26-2020


Town of Abingdon Facilities Closures and Services Update

The Town of Abingdon is taking several measures to support the goal of protecting the well-being of our community, and the capacity of our overall healthcare system. Effective May 26, 2020, many offices, including Town Hall and the Police Department, will be open to the public; however, some Town facilities will remain closed until further notice. Below is an update on Town facilities and services.

·       Town Hall is open but customers may continue to use the following methods for transactions such as paying sewer bills or taxes:

o   U.S. Mail
o   Credit card via telephone: (276) 525-1464
o   Dropbox located at the front of Town Hall

·       There is a “dropbox” located outside the first floor of Town Hall for patrons to submit business licenses, building permits, and other items to the Planning and Public Works Departments. Other services (such as applications for permits, licenses, and applications for utility services) may be negotiated by use of telephone or e-mail communication. Many forms can be downloaded from our website www.abingdon-va.gov (and identified using the search tool).

·       Tourism offices, at 335 Cummings Street, will continue to serve visitors by phone and e-mail only. The building is closed to the public. You may contact the office via phone at 276-676-2282 or e-mail at acvb@abingdon-va.gov.

·       The Muster Grounds, at 1780 Muster Place, is closed to the public until further notice. You may contact the office via phone at 276-525-1050.

·       Public parks and playground facilities are open under normal operating conditions as long as patrons remain compliant with appropriate social distancing guidelines. Pavilions with picnic tables will remain closed until further notice. For more information or questions about the parks, playgrounds, and pavilions, call 276-492-2144.

·       The Coomes Recreation Center will remain closed until further notice. For further updates, follow their social media pages or visit their website at www.coomescenter.com.

Continue to follow the Town website and social media pages for further updates and schedule changes.

Friday, May 15, 2020

Virginia Creeper Trail Reopening- FAQs


Virginia Creeper Trail Reopening
Frequently Asked Questions

1. Who made the decision to reopen the trail?
·       The decision to reopen the trail was made jointly between the trail owners/managers – the US Forest Service and the towns of Abingdon and Damascus in consultation with the Mount Rogers Health District.
2. What facilities/services along the trail are closed at this time?
·       For the protection of trail users and employees with limited personal protection equipment (PPE), all restroom facilities, visitor and welcome centers, and picnic shelters are closed.
3. As a trail user, what are my responsibilities to myself and others?
·       If you have been exposed to COVID-19 in the past 14 days or if you have a fever or other coronavirus symptoms or an underlying health condition, you should NOT be on the trail
·       Please follow the current Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines:
o   Maintain at least six feet distance between yourself and others who are not in your same party.
o    No groups of 10 or more should travel or congregate on the trail, at access points, or in the parking areas.
·       Please consider other trail users -- especially those behind you -- and cough or sneeze into a tissue or your elbow.
4. While on the trail, what are some important points to remember?
·       ALWAYS call out when passing on the left whether biking, running, or walking, and allow extra time to do so.
·       Please allow others to pass through any narrow trail sections FIRST to provide for 6' distancing.
·       Avoid touching smooth surfaces such as interpretive signs, kiosks, trashcan handles, and trestle & mile markers.
5. What about trail maintenance and bike patrols?
·       Trail maintenance will be limited.
·       Bike patrols will return to the trail when it is safe to do so.
6. Where should I park?
·       Please park in designated areas only. If the trail head or other access points are busy, please consider returning at another time or finding another location to enter/exit the trail.
7. Can I bring my dog?
·       Of course! But they must remain on a 6’ or shorter leash at all times. We require all owners to clean up after their dogs.
8. Is there cell service along the trail?
·       Cell service is very limited and can be considered “spotty at best”. There is service in Damascus and Abingdon, however, there is no service from Whitetop to Damascus (nor will there be bike patrols. In the event of an emergency, you will have to rely on someone in your party or passers-by to summon help.)
7. What if I have additional questions?
·       Visit https://vacreepertrail.org/ for more information about the trail and the Centers for Disease Control for additional details on the coronavirus at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Virginia Creeper Trail to Reopen on May 12 at 5:00pm


Virginia Creeper Trail to Reopen on May 12 at 5:00pm

The Virginia Creeper Trail will reopen effective Tuesday, May 12 at 5:00 pm; however, facilities and services along the trail will remain closed. The Center for Disease Control’s guidelines related to social distancing will be required for use of the trail during the COVID-19 pandemic along with other steps aimed at protecting public health.

The decision to reopen the trail was made jointly by the US Forest Service and the Towns of Abingdon and Damascus in consultation with the Mount Rogers Health District.
In compliance with the CDC’s guidelines, all trail users should maintain physical distancing, including maintaining at least six feet distance between individuals and others who are not in the same party. No groups of 10 or more should travel or congregate on the trail, at access points or in the parking areas.

In addition, at this time, for protection of trail users and employees with limited personal protection equipment (PPE), all restroom facilities, visitor and welcome centers and picnic shelters will remain closed. All visitors should plan to bring their own water and hand sanitizer. Most trash receptacles will not be available so trail users should plan to “pack-in and pack-out”. Routine trail maintenance will be limited.

“We are so glad to reopen the trail, which is such an asset to our residents and visitors. We are grateful for the coordination between all the stakeholders who have worked hard to ensure that the trail is being re-opened as quickly and safely as possible,” says Matthew Crum, president of the Virginia Creeper Trail Conservancy.

For more information, visit vacreepertrail.org

The Virginia Creeper National Recreation Trail is a 34.3-mile rail-to-recreation trail, traversing through two counties from Abingdon, Virginia, through Damascus, and ending just past Whitetop Station in the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area, at the Virginia-North Carolina border. Damascus and Abingdon local governments administer the trail from Abingdon to Damascus (mile 0-15); and the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests’ Mount Rogers National Recreation Area manages the trail from Damascus up to the North Carolina line (mile 15-34).

###