Happenings Around the Blue Ridge, April 7, 2022
Give Choose Thank you
Thank you to all who supported Friends of the Blue Ridge Mountains during the 2022 Give Choose Campaign. Friends met our goal of $4,000 during the campaign and won a prize for the most donors during the midnight to 8:00 AM period. We also significantly increased our donor base over 2021 and 2020.
Your generous financial support means that Friends can continue to do the things we have been doing to protect and celebrate the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. As we said repeatedly during the Give Choose Campaign this is a particularly important year in terms of resisting development pressure in the Mountains and enacting zoning legislation to control future development.
We are honored by your support and your confidence in us and will continue to do everything we can to be your voice for protecting this irreplaceable natural asset.
April 9 — Banshee Reeks Walk – 8:00 AM
Join the Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy on a walk at the Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve, a diverse 695-acre treasure in the heart of Loudoun County. This area of streams, trees, shrubs, and fields attracts lots of species, making it a birding hotspot. Join Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy and the Friends of Banshee Reeks to see what birds we will find. This is a regular outing that takes place the second Saturday of every month. Bring binoculars if you have them. Registration Required.
Questions: Contact Joe Coleman at 540-554-2542 or email@example.com.
April 11 & May 3 – Historic Encounter Days
The Loudoun Heritage Farm Museum is dedicated to preserving, promoting, and bringing to life the rich agricultural history of Loudoun County. Through interactive exhibits, the Museum highlights 250 years of Loudoun’s agricultural heritage.
Historic Encounters Days are a series of hands-on-history events for students, families, and homeschool groups at the Loudoun Heritage Farm Museum. Each day focuses on a different theme to bring our local history to life.
- April 11th – Technology/STEM: Learn about technology through the ages and see simple machines in action.
- May 3rd – Entertainment: Learn about what people did during historic times to entertain themselves, such as dancing, gaming, and toys.
To learn more or to register, please visit the Loudoun Heritage Farm Museum website.
April 11 Deadline — Virginia Legislation to Preserve the Tree Canopy
Legislation aimed at increasing tree canopies across Virginia passed both chambers of the Virginia General Assembly. Sen. Dave Marsden, D-Fairfax, sponsored Senate Bill 537, which passed the Senate 23-17 and the House 77-18.
The bill gives localities the option to require developers to replace or preserve existing trees in particular sites through minimum requirements. A developer would have to make sure that 10% to 20% of a site is covered by tree canopy, depending on how the site is zoned and how many units there are per acre.
If developers can’t place trees on-site due to a lack of space, they can be planted elsewhere in the locality. This proposed section does not become effective unless reenacted by the 2023 Session of the General Assembly.
The legislation is aimed at combating rising levels of deforestation within the state. Tree canopy cover has decreased by 17% in Virginia since 2000, according to Global Forest Watch, which uses satellite data and algorithms to access information about forest change.
By law the Governor Youngkin must act on the bill by 11:59 PM 4/11/2022. He can sign the bill into law. He can veto it or he can let it become law without his signature. Friends of the Blue Ridge Mountains has sent a letter to the Governor urging him to sign the bill.
April 23 & 24 – Appalachian Trail Flip-Flop Festival
Join the Appalachian Trai Conservancy to celebrate the beginning of spring in Harpers Ferry—and see off a group of Appalachian Trail thru-hikers who are following the flip flop route, starting in Harpers Ferry. This free community event is sponsored by the Trail & Town Alliance of Harpers Ferry & Bolivar, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, and the towns of Bolivar and Harpers Ferry.
With hiking workshops, music, speakers, food and a send-off breakfast for flip floppers, the Flip Flop Festival is a great excuse to visit Harpers Ferry, a scenic and historic town in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
The traditional Appalachian Trail thru-hike starts in Georgia and ends in Maine. But an increasing number of long-distance hikers are brave enough to hike the 2,200-mile AT by starting in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, which is known as the psychological halfway point. After hiking the northern half, they circle back to hike the southern half.
This alternate route helps conserve the trail and allows hikers to avoid crowds of thru hikers who start in Georgia.
For information go to: https://flipflopfestival.org/#about
Shenandoah Mountain National Scenic Area
Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) introduced the Shenandoah Mountain Act of 2022, which would designate more than 92,000 acres of the George Washington National Forest as the Shenandoah Mountain National Scenic Area. If enacted, the National Scenic Area will preserve majestic forests, spectacular vistas, and more than 150 miles of trails on the western edge of the Shenandoah Valley.
The new designation would allow forest visitors to continue enjoying these incredible lands – which are separate from and to the west of Shenandoah National Park – as they do today, while prohibiting logging and industrial development like gas drilling and pipeline construction.
Friends of the Blue Ridge Mountains has sent letters to both Senators Kaine and Warner endorsing the legislation.
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