Friends of the North Fork of the Shenandoah River has been working since 1988 to take care of the river. We believe that healthy communities and families are just like healthy rivers: they all start with clean, healthy water.

The core of our efforts toward river health is achieved through programs organized around Education and Outreach, Advocacy, and Science.

The river needs your help. Friends depends on the efforts of dozens of volunteers, hundreds of members, and thousands of citizens who make up our watershed community. As a local, grassroots, nonprofit organization, we work with teachers and schools, with anglers, boaters, and state agencies, and with homeowners, farmers, businesses and local government to encourage smart choices based on practical solutions and sound science.

The most heart-felt part of our work involves inspiring young people to get outside and enjoy this wonderful place. Bonds with nature begin early in life. Our school programs, summer camps, Family Fun Days, and teacher trainings help young people–and their parents–get more connected with the outdoors and the river.

Friends is not only concerned with the river itself, we also care about the entire watershed that feeds the tiny brooks, streams, and abundant springs ultimately flowing to the North Fork. County, town, federal and state policies can impact how land use change impacts all these waters.

Our advocacy efforts in recent years have addressed the spreading of biosolids, the development of zoning ordinances, the protection of source water for town water supplies, and the permitting of industrial facilities. Natural gas exploration in the George Washington National Forest, polluted runoff from our growing urban areas, and nutrients and sediments from poorly managed farms are some of our top issues.