Lynchburg, VA - Liberty University has a big, bold plan for two islands in the James River: The school is planning to make Treasure Island and Daniel Island athletic fields.
It's still early, and they're just in the planning stage, but it could have 19 multi-use fields when it's all said and done. And kind of like Snow flex, LU will build it and run it, and rent it out for special sporting events, but it will be open to the public too.
LU has owned this property for years, and the plan all along was to use it as a space for the public too.
Treasure and Daniel Island are nestled in one of the most scenic spots in our hometown, but overgrown trees and shrubs hide their potential. LU plans to change that rolling out these plans.
"You should be able to run down here," said Lee Beaumont, VP of auxiliary services at LU, pointing to the conceptual plans.
Beaumont calls the project a "community asset." It's just conceptual now, but the 80 acre space could have a track to run on, fields to play on, even a dock to launch boats.
"I think it would be a very popular venue. It would be very popular with traveling teams, very popular with local teams that want to practice here, because it's very serene being on the river, and you have the two high banks surrounding the river. It's just awesome down there," said Beaumont.
Liberty isn't the first to capitalize on the islands. At the turn of the last century, Treasure Island was called YMCA Island and a place for the well to do to unwind. Decades ago, Liberty bought it, putting dorms, a youth camp, even a football field on the island.
"You can go out there right now and find shoulder pads and helmets," said Beaumont.
But a fire and flood in the 80s left the island deserted until now.
Liberty is resurrecting these islands, but they want the community's advice.
"Everything from the individual to a city school, or college or university," said Beaumont.
The hope is to give the space a little bit of something for everyone to enjoy, and get Lynchburg outside enjoying nature again.