Virginia Tech® home

New Catawba Sustainability Center trail provides access to Appalachian Trail, McAfee Knob

Loading player for
Category: impact Video duration: New Catawba Sustainability Center trail provides access to Appalachian Trail, McAfee Knob

Video courtesy of Roanoke County Economic Development

Representatives from Virginia Tech, Roanoke County, and the community gathered for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially open the 2.9-mile loop. The trail winds its way through the 377-acre Virginia Tech Catawba Sustainability Center before connecting to the Appalachian Trail. 

I would like to welcome you to the beautiful Catawba Valley. The weather this morning is just spectacular. For the ribbon cutting of the Catawba Greenway and Trailhead here at Virginia Tech's Catawba Sustainability Center This is important for us here at the Catawba Sustainability Center and here on the farm. Because it's allowing an audience to come in and look at some of the research and demonstration that we're doing on the ground and how that affects maybe even their daily lives on where they buy their food and how their food is produced. Seeing that we're doing things that are in an environmental and ecological manner as supporting soils and supporting water quality and seeing our production and questioning maybe your own lifestyle and where you're getting your food from. In many ways, the economic value of this partnership between Virginia Tech and Roanoke County and this region is really about training the next generation of farmers, conservationists, to be fully engaged players in the economic vitality of the region. Catawba Greenway as a 2.9 mile, natural surface trail system located north and south of Route 311 that connect to the Appalachian Trail. Importance of partnership between Roanoke County and Virginia Tech supports agritourism and economic development initiatives, as well as the preservation of land in a critical view shed. Here are beautiful, Catawba community. I think this trail will bring more people to the Catawba Valley, a rural community that is mostly based in agriculture. And maybe more visitors will bring about more businesses moving in to kind of support traffic that'll be on the trail. And hopefully those businesses, whether it be dining or brewery, will be interested in local agriculture, and how we can support their efforts by offering better food or connecting them with farmers that offer better food for those businesses. I think so many people have lost their connection to the land and what the land does for them. If you eat, you're connected to the land. And by coming through here and seeing this, it'll give you a better sense of how things are done, how things are produced, and how things can be done that are better for, for you nutritionally and for the environment in which we live. For more information about the Catawba Greenway and Catawba Sustainability Center. Visit