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David V. Brotman

Executive Director

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A Virginia native, and graduate of Virginia Tech, David has broad experience in environmental field work, business, conflict resolution, and education.  Times spent in the Shenandoah Valley as a boy and young man — camping, hiking, fishing, and canoeing — are the very roots of his environmental interests, and his love of nature.

David is a natural public educator, and has taught all age groups in a variety of indoor and outdoor settings.  Subjects have included Chesapeake Bay ecology, Wild Edibles, and many more.  In Yellowstone NP, he trained citizen scientists in field data collection.

During a long stint in California, David logged more than 2000 hours volunteering on both public and private habitat conservation projects.  While on the west coast he also trained in conflict resolution where he practiced with Centinela Youth Services, and with the international mediation group, Mediators Beyond Borders.  Since his return to Virginia, he has been active with the Woodstock Tree Board, Front Royal/Warren County Tree Stewards, Coming to The Table workgroup on race relations, and has helped at both Seven Bends and Shenandoah River State Parks.

David continues to be an avid hiker, camper, outdoor educator, and hunter of wild edible plants.  He finds great joy in studying our woods, wildlife, and landscapes, including the unique and historic, cultural heritage sites still scattered throughout the Valley.

Julia Sargent

Director of Programs

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Starting as a volunteer at Friends in 2019, Julia became a staff member in 2020 as FNFSR’s first-ever Volunteer Coordinator, and began her role as Director of Programs in 2022.  Julia brings a diverse set of professional experience in mental health, human services, community organization, and the service industry to Friends, and has been instrumental in the development of FNFSR’s programming in Benthic Macroinvertebrate Monitoring, the Riparian Buffer Support Program, and the North Fork Conservation Corps.

With a passion for bringing people together around common interests that transcend political, economic, and social divisions, Julia is focused on furthering Friends’ mission and building a strong community of stewardship around the watershed.

Daisy Blakely

Education Support Specialist/ BMIM Program Lead

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Daisy started at Friends in May 2019 as a summer intern after graduating from Shenandoah University with a B.S in Environmental Studies. She currently works as our education support specialist helping with a variety of programs. 

Her interest in the environment grew from a young age experiencing the outdoors on family outings while camping, kayaking, and hiking, which she still enjoys doing whenever given the chance. She is interested more specifically on enhancing water quality, learning more about benthic macroinvertebrates and what they can tell us about rivers, and educating others about the river and environment. 

Volunteers

Friends of the North Fork engages the enthusiasm of scores of volunteers who provide hundreds of hours of support to our mission — and the health of our river — every year.  We could not do it all without them!

Our volunteers do the dirty work and have a lot of fun in service to the river.