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Seven Bends Lecture Series 2018

Join us for our second free lecture series with a great lineup of speakers. Thanks to our lecture series sponsor, Muse Vineyards.

All lectures are held at the St. Paul’s Heritage Center in Edinburg on Sunday afternoons at 2pm. See dates, details, and a map below.

Sunday, April 8th, 2pm

Desired Future Conditions of Seven Bends State Park

Al Cire, District 3 Resource Specialist, Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation

What are the unique natural and cultural resources of Seven Bends State Park?  How does DCR use the “desired future conditions” report to help plan long-term for a park property?

Attend this lecture to hear from Al Cire who has undertaken a survey of the Park’s resources. Al began his career with the Virginia Dept. of Conservation & Recreation in 1988. His work locations have included Smith Mountain Lake State Park, Occoneechee State Park, and Hungry Mother State Park. Al also worked for the Division of Natural Heritage for 10 years as the Western Operations Steward managing Natural Area Preserves. Currently Al serves as the District Resource Specialist stationed at Natural Bridge State Park. He manages the natural and cultural resources for six state parks.       Learn more about Seven Bends State Park here.

Sunday, March 25th, 2pm

Invasive Plants in the Shenandoah River Valley

Maggie and Rod Walker with Blue Ridge PRISM

Wondering what you can do to help keep your property as healthy as possible?  Want to learn how your efforts can support a larger regional push to protect native biodiversity and keep our forests intact and productive? Curious about what to cut and what to keep? 

Whether you have a tiny yard or a large property, attend this talk to learn from experienced landowners and two of the co-founders of Blue Ridge PRISM, one of the biggest, boldest volunteer efforts in our region.

Married for 40 years, Rod and Maggie Walker have been timberland owners for that entire time and more. Having owned land in Wisconsin and West Virginia, they purchased 1,500 acres in Albemarle County in 1998 and moved here full time in 2012. Their current timberland ownerships of over 2,000 acres were originally for investment and enjoying various outdoors activities. Over time serious forestry activities crept in, starting with planting pine plantations and eventually moving into invasive species management.

While working on invasive plants on their Albemarle property, Jake Hughes from the Shenandoah National Park made them aware of the concept of Cooperative Weed Management Areas
(CWMAs). Together with Jake, they organized the first CWMA to be formed in Virginia, now known as the Blue Ridge PRISM, to address invasive plants across 10 counties of Virginia, comprising almost 3 million acres. For information on the Blue Ridge PRISM, visit

Sunday, February 25th, 2pm

State of the River — Update on Research

Brad Fink, District Fisheries Biologist, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries

Curious about how the fish are doing?   Wondering if the North Fork and Shenandoah have recovered from the fish kills of past years?

Join us for an update on river research with  Brad Fink, District Fisheries Biologist, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. In his current position Brad works with anglers and aquatic managers to optimize the fisheries and water quality throughout the region. Brad obtained a B.S. in Fisheries Science from Virginia Tech and a M.S. from James Madison University. He has 18 years of experience in aquatic sciences/species management including stream restoration, shoreline habitat improvement, stream temperature research, and species population management. Before obtaining a position with VDGIF he worked for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, Indiana Department of Natural Resources, and the USDA Forest Service. He is currently the Virginia Chapter of the American Fisheries Society Fundraising Committee Chair. Brad is a native to the Shenandoah Valley and enjoys hunting, fishing, and camping in the region.

Learn about Fish Kills on the Shenandoah here.

 Map to the Lectures