The 16 Frogs is a public arts project with a social conscience. The frogs are designed to help restore and maintain Stroubles Creek through public education, inspired by art and informed by town history. Why 16? And why frogs???
The number is a reference to the 16 squares that formed the original plat of Blacksburg. Frogs are a beloved part of our natural environment in Southwest Virginia, and also an important indicator species for scientists and engineers. Frogs live in two environments – land and water – and have thin skin which can absorb toxic chemicals, radiation and diseases. When frog populations suffer or decline, it means the ecosystem they are living in is unhealthy.
Stroubles Creek, which is fed by tributaries that run through Blacksburg, is one of the most impaired waterways in Virginia. 16 life-sized bronze frog statuettes are being sited along the watershed, calling attention to the freshwater that flows under and around the streets of Blacksburg.
Created by noted sculptor Christine Kosiba, the bronzes are modeled after the native Green Frog, (Lithobates clamitans). Some rest on casts of Virginia’s native water lily, (Nymphaea odorata). They range from 6-12 inches in size, and sit on pavement, knee walls, stormwater drains, or sills.
The frogs will be enjoyed by toddlers on discovery, schoolchildren investigating stream ecology, runners, walkers, geocachers, history buffs, tourists, and arts patrons.
16 Frogs is sponsored by Seek Education, Explore, and DiScover (SEEDS, Inc), Downtown Blacksburg, Inc., the Blacksburg Museum and Cultural Foundation, Downtown Events,Inc. The Lyric Council, The Susan Garrison Fund of Sustainable Blacksburg, the Community Foundation of the New River Valley, and the Town of Blacksburg.
The Huckleberry Trail is a 7-mile rail trail in Montgomery County, Virginia, connecting the towns of Blacksburg and Christiansburg. The trail is 12 feet wide with an asphalt surface.
Trail difficulty: Easy
Length: 7 mi (11 km)
Use: Hiking, bicycling, etc
Sights: Appalachian Mountains, Virginia Tech
The Huckleberry Trail has deep roots and a long history in providing transportation between Blacksburg and Christiansburg.
It began as the Virginia Anthracite Coal and Rail Company in 1902 to transport coal from the Merrimac Mine (now the location of the Coal Miners’ Heritage Park) to the Cambria Depot in Christiansburg. In 1904, the railway was extended to Blacksburg (the depot was located at approximately the site of the current Montgomery/Floyd Regional Library) and a contract was made between the coal company and Virginia Tech. On September 15, 1904, the first passenger train rolled into Blacksburg. For more information visit the website below.
Three of the historic church buildings still remain. The second Presbyterian Church building, built in the 1840′s is now the Cabo Fish Taco building on Main Street. The Christ Episcopal Church sanctuary, built in 1875, is still in use by that church. The original Baptist Church, on the corner of Church and Roanoke Streets, built in 1903 was quickly sold to the Christian (Disciples of Christ) congregation who later sold the building to be the Odd fellows Hall. The Odd Fellows, in turn, later sold it to be the Jewish Community Center.
Be sure to check out these beautiful buildings while you take a walk round downtown.