Photo Credits: Nancy Shrum (circled photo), Brad Hittle (background photo), Background vector created by rawpixel.com – www.freepik.com
Some of Our 2020 Successes:
● Hosting a successful 5-week hybrid online Summer Environmental Education Program, Summer Stream Adventure with Friends registered 104 children, ages 4-17.
● Thwarting two ill-advised special use permits, one of which would have placed a rodeo in the floodplain of Smith Creek, and one requesting permission for a commercial campground on the River’s banks without due consideration of impacts on the River.
● Partnering with Virginia Eagle Distributing employees to clear over 3,000 pounds of trash from the River.
● Organizing four North Fork Trash Challenges, leading to 25+ site clean-ups.
● Save Happy Creek, joining together with conservation colleagues in the area to stop clear cutting along Happy Creek and begin a sustainable plan for this historic stream’s rehabilitation.
● Scenic River Designation, assisting with the process to designate 8.8 miles of the North Fork flanking Seven Bends State Park as a Virginia Scenic River.
● Running our first year-round Seasonal Photo Contest, engaging more people in our organization and in our mission through sharing of their admiration of our diverse land- and water-scapes.
Our Upcoming Work:
● Increased involvement in the Shenandoah Valley Conservation Collaborative for on-the-ground volunteer projects to reduce both sediments and nutrient pollution in our waterways.
● Continuing our strong partnerships with local school systems and educators to fill the need for outdoor and environmental education in challenging times for public education.
● Developing online environmental education modules to provide virtual field trips and other learning experiences to students remotely.
● Rolling out a new Benthic MacroInvertebrate Citizen Science Monitoring Program to get a baseline of ecological health for the North Fork and its tributaries.
● Launching our new Watershed Community Engagement Program, with “What is My Watershed Address?,” a web- tool for all residents, with a focus on home-life decision-making and learning.