A watershed moment for the Shenandoah River and the Chesapeake Bay occurred on Tuesday the 23rd of April. Ownership of the former Virginia National Golf Course located on the banks of the Shenandoah River in Clark County was handed over to Shenandoah University . Dr. Tracy Fitzsimmons, President of the University said during a press conference at the river property, “ …It was a magical moment…to be entrusted with the care of such an historical and ecologically significant landscape”.
After several wonderful speeches by the dignitaries that made it possible and the signing of the ceremonial deed, the Shenandoah University Choir sang a beautiful a cappella version of the legendary song “Oh Shenandoah”. It was indeed magical with superb voices, the flow of the river in the background and an Eagle flying overhead.
Click on the picture to the right to see the video of the Choir singing “Oh Shenandoah”.
The 195-acre former Virginia National Golf Course is now on it’s way to becoming a stellar outdoor classroom for students and the public as well.
Many partners were involved in the purchase and transfer of the property including Clarke County, Civil War Trust and the National Park Service. As part of the transition package the Virginia Department of Historic Resources placed a historic and open-space easement on the property in perpetuity.
The Civil War Battle of Cool Spring was fought here and on the land directly across the river owned by the Holy Cross Abbey, a monastery of the Cistercian Order of Trappists.
Holy Cross Abbey is a sustainable seeking monastery with a retreat house, 1,200 acre operating farm, green cemetery and bakery – they’re the ones that make the fruitcake. I love their dark chocolate covered slices of fruitcake. They recently launched a stewardship plan to improve the natural resources on the farm which included fencing their cattle out of the Shenandoah River. Their land is also under an “open-easement”.
These two properties serve as anchors on the Shenandoah River that protect the scenic, historic and ecological resources on 1,395 acres of land and two miles of river. It will help restore the Chesapeake Bay and enlighten citizens for generations to come.
The Chesapeake Bay Foundation provided technical assistance on both properties and is very proud of their commitment to soil and water stewardship.
A restored Bay will help us all. Contact me to find out how you can help us restore the Bay or the stream in the watershed where you live.
Yes, you live in a watershed…do you know what it is?
Beautiful singing on some beautiful land. Sounds like a wonderful project with natural and historic value.
It was indeed beautiful. Thanks for your support Eric and for your leadership on city council and for stewardship as a whole.
Good job. It’s great to see people working hard to save the bay.
Agriculture is half way there, Charlie. Thanks for your continued support.
Great news Bobby, and good work!
Bobby, thanks for this. When I asked an aged theologian (Joseph Sittler) how to reach people with a message, this man who made an art of writing a paragraph, thought for a bit and said, “the arts, its’ got to be the arts.”
David, thanks. He indeed was wise. Looking forward to the Stroud event.
What a great accomplishment Bobby. Keep up the good work.
Jeff, thanks so much for taking the time to read and reply. It means so much coming from you.
Thanks for putting this event in the full context of Clarke County and the partnerships needed for us all to be good stewards of our resources. This isn’t a challenge for loners. It is so hopeful to see so much awareness of the environment in Clarke County and so encouraging, in the light of discouraging current events, to see vision and creative action for the future.
And if I haven’t said it before, thanks for your informative website.
Father James, thanks for your kind words and continued support. The Abbey Rocks! Maybe this post will help sell a few Fratters.
LFSWCD is delighted to have you involved. FOSR is delighted to have you involved.
The Abbey and its farm manager have been great to work with.
Bobby, it is wonderful to see projects like this happen. It sounds like they will make good use of the land and many people will learn from it. The best way to save the bay and other struggling natural spaces is to educate and involve the community and this sounds like the perfect way to accomplish that goal.
Hey Mandy, Yes, I am very excited about these projects. Thanks for stopping by and posting a comment. Have you tried the monk’s dark chocolate covered fruit cake?