Roanoke community comes out for “Perk the Park Trail Movement”

Published: May. 25, 2023 at 11:53 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Fleet Feet Roanoke focuses many of its efforts on road running. But now it wants to highlight trail running in the Roanoke Valley, while also shining a spotlight on a local small business for each event. Fleet Feet Roanoke teamed up with Fishburn Perk out at Fishburn Park Thursday night for “Perk the Park Trail Movement.”

“This summer, what we wanted to do was introduce trail running to a lot of the community. We’ve been really supportive of the road running community, we have a pub run every Tuesday at six o’clock, but we haven’t had a trail option,” said Matt Thompson, owner of Fleet Feet Roanoke.

The events are a chance for residents to hop on the trail or just enjoy a conversation. Fishburn Perk is a coffee shop that Keri and Justin vanBlaricom dream of turning the old caretakers cabin into at Fishburn Park. City Council recently voted down a rezoning request to do just that.

“Matt reached out to us and asked us if he could do something for us to show their support and the community support for this and I said, sure. And so he was like, let’s do a run as if the coffee shop existed, let’s do a run from the coffee shop and so he kind of put this together,” said Justin.

The vanBlaricoms brought coffee for those in attendance from Gladheart Wine and Brews, which is just down the road from the park. More than 30 people came out for the event and at the end of the day it’s about exploring the Roanoke Valley.

“It’s just great to highlight that and bring awareness to these great resources that we have available, that folks who live here don’t even know about,” said Thompson.

Fleet Feet Roanoke plans to make this a weekly occurrence and get a feel for what the community wants to see and have.

“We’re all in this community together. So it’s working with the best partners around so that we can provide a great experience for the entire community,” said Thompson.

For more information, head over to Fleet Feet Roanoke’s website here and Facebook here and Fishburn Perk’s Facebook here.