The City of Williamsburg is hosting a community input session on the content of the planned African American Heritage Trail.
The input session is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Saturday, March 4, 2023, at the Quarterpath Recreation Center, 202 Quarterpath Road. A virtual session will be scheduled at a later date. Input can also be submitted through our website at williamsburgva.gov/heritagetrail.
In January 2023, the federal government passed legislation that includes $357,000 for Phase 1 of the City’s African American Heritage Trail. Phase 1 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.
Since 2020, an 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. In the current GIOs for 2023-24, the City’s goal is to convene members of the Descendant Community and other City residents to advise on the content for the African American Heritage Trail; begin construction of Phase 1; and obtain funding for the remaining phases.
As part of the federal funding application, City staff engineered a nearly 2-mile, walkable path (shown above) in the downtown Williamsburg area.
At the community input 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.
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. Phase 1 construction will begin upon receipt of the federal funds.